Ex-NBA center eyes return after 4 years of absence from league

okafor-blocks-garnettFormer NBA center Emeka Okafor is reportedly looking to return to the NBA, after last playing in the league back in 2012-13 season with the Washington.

Okafor suffered back and neck injuries that sidelined him from playing, but looks like he’s ready to get back on the court.

According to Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski, Okafor has made himself available for the NBA again.

“Emeka Okafor has been cleared to return to action, is working out and is determined to return to the NBA, I’m told,” said Krawczynski.

According to him, Okafor has already been in touch with some NBA teams. There was no word on whether Okafor will be signed to a contract in the near future.

Back in 2015, when Okafor was still looking for a new NBA home, ESPN reported that Cleveland, Miami and Dallas were interested in signing Okafor.

Okafor averaged 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 26.0 minutes per game for the Washington Wizards in 2012-13. The Wizards, knowing he was likely out for the entire 2013-14 campaign, used the defensive-minded big man’s $14.5 million expiring contract just days before the start of the 2013-14 to acquire Marcin Gortat from Phoenix.

Okafor’s career numbers are impressive: the big man played for the Charlotte (New Orleans) Hornets almost his entire career, and spent one season with Washington. He averaged double-figures in scoring and rebounds in his first 5 seasons in the NBA.

Okafor, so far, played in 590 NBA games (started 584), averaging 12.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg and 1.7 bpg in 31.7 mpg.

Okafor has missed four full NBA seasons. He never appeared in a game after leaving the Wizards in the trade that brought Marcin Gortat to Washington.

The second overall pick in the 2004 draft, Okafor was the 2004-05 rookie of the year. For much of his career, durability was his calling card. He did not miss a game in three straight seasons from 2007-10.


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