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News » Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2008-07-26

Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2008-07-26

Charlotte Bobcats Getting Inside 2008-07-26
Emeka Okafor may not be long for the Bobcats.

Negotiations between the Bobcats and restricted free agent Okafor have reached an impasse, the Charlotte Observer reported. The Bobcats are now offering less than the $12 million-plus annual salary Okafor turned down last summer. Okafor now wants a sign-and-trade to another team, the Observer reported. If that doesn't happen, Okafor could sign a one-year qualifying offer (for about $7 million) to become an unrestricted free agent the summer of 2009.

Not resolving this before Okafor signs that one-year qualifying offer represents a risk to both sides. If the Bobcats don't arrange a sign-and-trade, they could lose Okafor -- the second overall pick in 2004 -- with no compensation in the summer of 2009. And Okafor would play a second straight season without the security of a long-term contract.

Okafor is the Bobcats' top rebounder and best defender. Losing him -- particularly if the team can't replace him with a player of similar size and skill -- would be a blow to new coach Larry Brown's efforts to get the Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time.

Okafor is one of several members of the 2004 draft class who have yet to work out long-term deals with the teams that selected them. Atlanta forward Josh Childress took the uncommon step of signing with a Greek team, rather than accept what the Hawks offered. Atlanta's Josh Smith and Chicago Bulls Luol Deng and Ben Gordon are all in limbo.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 26, 2008


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