The Sixers, rather than shedding themselves of one Okafor, decided to double-down heading into training camp, signing NBA veteran and former top 2 draft pick Emeka Okafor to a training camp deal. The Sixers announced the signing, along with confirming the Kris Humphries signing originally reported on Friday, in an official release today. You can find a link to that announcement here.
Emeka Okafor, who is about to turn 35, last played in the NBA in 2012-13 as a starter for the Washington Wizards. He suffered a neck injury at the conclusion of that season, and the last word of a comeback attempt came last summer. He previously had been linked to the center rotation of the now-defending champion Golden State last summer, but they instead filled their center hole with a rotation including former Sixers JaVale McGee and two-way Sixers signee James Michael McAdoo.
Four years removed from competitive action, Okafor might be a long-shot to make the team, especially with Jahlil Okafor remaining on the roster as the Sixers openly seek to find him a new home. He’ll be competing with Humphries and others for an end-of-bench slot. However, he would be a nice fit in an Elton Brand-style bench veteran who can defend the rim for spot minutes.
While I personally would rather fill the end of the bench with youngsters with upside, a veteran who gives a crap about defense isn’t the worst influence for a still-young locker room. It would be a tremendous comeback story, especially given how effective he was before his injuries. Here’s hoping the league hasn’t quite passed him by.