When last we saw Emeka Okafor, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns from the Washington Wizards in 2013 after the worst season of his career was ended by a herniated disk in his neck. Okafor never suited up for the Suns and has been out of the league since, but the 34-year-old is attempting an NBA comeback with an eye toward getting picked up as a free agent by a contender midway through next season.
Okafor’s agent told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that the big man is “five or six months away” from being fully ready as he works to get his conditioning to NBA levels after three years out of the game. When he was a player, the University of Connecticut product was a plus defender with shooting range not much farther than 10 feet, and widely regarded as an intelligent guy who’s good for the locker room. That combination of defense and locker room presence is why Okafor reportedly was contacted by the Warriors, Cavaliers and Heat last season before deciding to delay his comeback until he’s fully fit.
Golden State GM Bob Myers even went on record saying he “had a conversation” with Okafor’s representation, and if the Warriors have one concern heading into next season, it’s depth in the frontcourt. Zaza Pachulia, David West, and Anderson Varejao are all veterans in their mid-30s, which means they’re susceptible to injury and need some backup. If winter comes around and Okafor says he’s back, you can bet the Warriors will kick his tires.