Tuesday , Jul , 28 , 2009 Oly Sandor

The Okafor-Chandler trade: Charlotte cuts salary, New Orleans appeases Chris Paul

Both organizations made statements with this trade. The Charlotte Bobcats cut the cord on their first draft pick and player. And the small-market New Orleans Hornets showed a willingness to spend and build around superstar Chris Paul, even with tight-fisted owner George Shinn controlling the purse-strings. Yes, the Emeka Okafor-Tyson Chandler deal tells us much about the future of these teams …


The Okafor-Chandler trade: Charlotte cuts salary, New Orleans appeases Chris Paul


NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: "The Hornets have officially found a taker for Tyson Chandler in the Charlotte Bobcats, trading for fellow center Emeka Okafor." (ESPN)

Our Quick Analysis: Both organizations made statements with this trade.

The Charlotte Bobcats cut the cord on their first draft pick and player. And the small-market New Orleans Hornets showed a willingness to spend and build around superstar Chris Paul, even with tight-fisted owner George Shinn controlling the purse-strings.

Yes, the Emeka Okafor-Tyson Chandler deal tells us much about the future of these teams.

For thrifty Charlotte, this was partly about reducing costs and increasing financial flexibility. The deal saves the franchise a tidy $60 million –Okafor is owed $72 million over the next five years, while Chandler is on the books for one more year at $13 million. In the new and frugal NBA, less salary is a positive. 

‘Team Jordan’ also improved their athleticism. Okafor, at 6-10 and with a bodybuilder’s frame, struggled against the league’s taller posts. Chandler, however, is well over seven-feet and possesses impressive quickness and leaping ability.

New Orleans gains a consistent post presence. Okafor, ever the ploughman, averaged a steady 13 points and 10 rebounds per game for Larry Brown’s squad. Most importantly, his defence and shot blocking will trigger the break for Paul.

But this deal was mostly about re-assuring Paul. A few weeks back, the All-Star told reporters he was concerned the club wasn’t looking to upgrade.  After all, the Hornets, supposedly because of finances, hadn’t swung a trade or signed a free agent and the competitors had gotten better. Well, taking on Okafor’s big-ticket proves otherwise.      

Charlotte and New Orleans, two interesting teams, both tipped their hand with Monday’s swap of post players.

Got thoughts on Okafor for Chandler? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.