Emeka Okafor Drawing Widespread Interest

MONDAY, 1:45pm: Teams had been taking a cautious approach in evaluating Okafor as of a few weeks ago, as J. Michael of CSNWashington says today, adding that the center has much to prove before doctors would declare him healthy (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether teams have become more optimistic since Michael last heard news on the center.

SUNDAY, 10:46pm: Emeka Okafor is in high demand even after missing all of 2013/14, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. In fact, roughly half of the league has registered interest this summer in the big man. Okafor is nonetheless unlikely to sign anywhere until midseason given the lingering effects of his neck injury, Stein also hears.

A number of teams, including contending clubs, would like to add the 31-year-old Okafor to their benches. The Cavs and Heat are among the teams to have checked in, according to Stein, echoing an earlier report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that identified the Heat’s interest in the 10-year veteran.

Okafor suffered his injury in the preseason while with Washington last October and was dealt to the Suns shortly before opening night in the trade that brought Marcin Gortat to the Wizards.  Okafor’s nearly $14.5MM expiring contract was linked in trade rumors to Pau Gasol and others, but the Suns never found a deal to their liking that would have allowed them to flip Okafor before his lucrative pact ran out.

Okafor was one of a handful of big men to reportedly audition for the Clippers earlier this month.

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