There hasn’t been any official timetable given for Emeka Okafor‘s recovery from a herniated disk in his neck, but Chris Mannix of SI.com hears the injury could keep him out all season (Twitter link). Others, including TNT’s David Aldridge, have noted that the Suns didn’t acquire Okafor and his expiring contract for what he could give them on the court, and it appears he may never take the court for Phoenix at all (Twitter link).
The notion that Okafor might miss the entire season clearly lent a sense of urgency to the Wizards negotiations to trade for Marcin Gortat. Washington has aspirations of making the playoffs this season, and the team would have been forced to scramble for a center if Okafor couldn’t play. Wizards coach Randy Wittman could have made Nene the starting pivotman, but the Brazilian prefers to guard opposing power forwards, as Mannix points out on Twitter.
Okafor will make $14,487,500 this season in the final year of his deal. The Suns will likely go with Miles Plumlee, whom they acquired via trade this summer from the Pacers, or Alex Len, the fifth pick from this year’s draft, as their starting center.