6:30pm: The Pelicans have officially signed Okafor to a rest-of-season deal, the team announced today in a press release.
Okafor, 35, entered this season having played his last NBA game during the 2012/13 campaign. However, after a solid G League showing with the Delaware 87ers, the former second overall pick was called up by the Pelicans earlier this month.
With DeMarcus Cousins sidelined due to a torn Achilles, Okafor has assumed the role of starting center in New Orleans. The big man hasn’t contributed much on offense, posting 3.7 PPG and a .346 FG% in six games (16.2 MPG). However, he remains a difference-maker on the defensive end, chipping in 6.3 RPG and 2.0 BPG. The Pelicans have won all four games he has started.
Once Okafor officially re-signs, he’ll become the second Pelicans player to parlay a pair of 10-day contracts into a rest-of-season deal — DeAndre Liggins also did so, as our 10-day tracker shows. New Orleans currently has 13 players on rest-of-season or multiyear NBA contracts, with Okafor poised to become the 14th. The 15th roster spot is occupied by Walter Lemon Jr., who is on a 10-day deal.
Assuming Okafor signs his new contract on Monday and it’s worth the minimum salary, it will count for approximately $374K on the Pelicans’ cap.