Emeka Okafor is planning a comeback after sitting out the past three seasons, Jackie MacMullen of ESPN.com reports. Okafor is hopeful of hooking on with a playoff contender in December or January, MacMullen continues.
The 33-year-old center called it quits following the 2012/13 season because of a herniated disc in his neck. Okafor, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft, started 77 of 79 games with the Wizards in his last season.
Okafor’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, told MacMullen that Okafor needs more time to get his body ready for the NBA grind, but is optimistic that teams will be interested in his client once he’s in basketball shape. “He’s probably five or six months away,” Schwartz said. “He’s been working hard rehabbing.”
The Warriors had a conversation with Okafor in recent months and will continue to monitor his progress, Golden State GM Bob Myers informed MacMullen. The Warriors, Cavs and Heat spoke with Okafor last season but he decided at that time he wasn’t ready to return.
“We have 14 players right now, but you learn every year that someone you didn’t expect to be available becomes an option,” Myers told MacMullen.
Okafor averaged 12.3 points and 9.9 rebounds over nine seasons before the injury.