Charlotte Hornets Rumors: Ray Allen, Emeka Okafor Could Play In Buzz City Uniform
Ray Allen and Emeka Okafor are mulling an NBA comeback. There is a chance they would join forces in North Carolina.Advertisement
The Charlotte Hornets are in the running to sign both veterans. The two have a history with the franchise. Okafor played five seasons with the now-defunct Charlotte Bobcats, while Allen is a loyal Jordan Brand endorser who may want to play for the Michael Jordan-owned team.
Jeff Schwartz, Okafor’s agent, confirmed to ESPN that the 6-foot-10 center is back in the gym working out and building stamina. Okafor has not played in the NBA in three years. He was forced to take a long sabbatical from basketball after he injured his spine in October 2013.
In his five-year stint with the Charlotte Bobcats, Okafor averaged 14.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He was traded to the New Orleans Hornets in 2009 then to the Washington Wizards in 2012. He averaged 9.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and a block in his final year in the league, as per Basketball Reference.
If Okafor stays healthy and regain some of his old self, he could be a solid contributor for an NBA team in dire need of front court depth. In Charlotte, Okafor can end his career where it all started. The Bobcats selected him with the second overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.
As for Allen, the two-time NBA champion is seriously considering a return to the NBA. Courant noted that Allen will likely make his decision before the start of training camp, which is usually held in late September. The Hornets have a hole to fill off the bench. Allen could be the team’s third-string shooting guard behind Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb.
Allen played his last season with the Miami Heat in 2014. He averaged 9.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game that year. At 39 years old, he shot 44.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.