Though general perception of the Emeka Okafor-Charlotte contract negotiations was that they were somewhere in the toilet, the two sides have supposedly pulled out a lucrative multi-year extension to keep the former No. 2 pick a Bobcat. While the deal hasn’t been finalized, it’s rumored to be six years, $72 million – right in line with Andrew Bogut‘s deal with Milwaukee.
Early in the summer it looked like Charlotte would have preferred to downgrade at center to save some coin – they offered DeSagana Diop a deal around the $5.6 million mid-level exception. But with the precedent set by Josh Childress , striking the fear of God that Okafor could play for the $7.1 million left on his deal next season before defecting, the Bobcats had to make a move instead of watching Okafor leave without having a chance to match a European contract.
Okafor is one of the guys from the constantly-maligned ’04 men’s Olympic team who actually did see the floor under Larry Brown. Even though those guys came up short, Brown still endorses the center.
“I hope that it works out because I was with him a little while and he’s a terrific kid,” Brown said earlier this month. “He plays a position that’s very hard to find. And he’s the second pick in the draft. I’m sure we’ll do what’s right. Hopefully he’ll be here.”
Sure, Emeka’s averaged a double-double for the last four years (14.3 points, 10.9 boards per over his career), but is he worth $12 million per year?