Report: Okafor/ Chandler Trade Done

by July 28, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

According to numerous reports, the Charlotte Bobcats and New Orleans Hornets have agreed in principle to swap big men. Tyson Chandler is headed to Charlotte, and a previously unhappy Chris Paul gets a double-double machine in Emeka Okafor.

What’s shocking to most, is that cash-strapped New Orleans was willing to take on Okafor’s rather large contract (Emeka inked a 6-year, $72 million deal last summer). The Bobcats, meanwhile, will get some cap relief after the 2010-’11 season, when Chandler’s current deal runs out.

Basketball wise, the Hornets are the clear winners in this swap, adding a rock-solid low post presence to a team that won 49 games last season in the brutal West can only improve things for Chris Paul and company.

It certainly won’t bring a championship to New Orleans, but it’s a message to their superstar (and the fans) that the team isn’t sitting on its hands while everyone else loads up; they’re at the very least attempting to remain competitive.

Interestingly, Gerald Wallace is now the only Bobcat left over from the expansion season. I’m sure that makes him feel just wonderful.

UPDATE: The deal is now official.