by Marcel Mutoni

Word on the street is that feelings between the talented Emeka Okafor and his employer, the Charlotte Bobcats, aren’t exactly the warmest these days. The problem, as always, is money.

The ‘Cats don’t appear to be willing to break the bank for their power forward, and he’s reportedly requesting a trade. From the Charlotte Observer:

Negotiations between Okafor and the Bobcats are at an impasse, an informed source told the Observer, with the team offering less now than the $12million-plus annual salary it did a year ago.

A restricted free agent, center-forward Okafor now wants a sign-and-trade to another team, the source said, and is not inclined to remain with the Bobcats long-term.

With the dearth of quality bigs in the Association, losing Okafor would obviously be a tremendous blow to the Bobcats; he’s their best defensive player and, really, their sole presence down low (with all apologies to Nazr Mohammed.)

But don’t you worry, Bobcats fans (all 7 of you!). Larry Brown is here. Everything’s gonna be alright.