Emeka Okafor in 2012-13 with the Wizards: A Three-Sided Coin | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Emeka Okafor in 2012-13 with the Wizards: A Three-Sided Coin

Updated: May 16, 2013

[Wizards 2012-13 Player Reviews from the TAI crew are going down; let’s reflect—index:
Jannero PargoJason CollinsShaun LivingstonShelvin MackCartier MartinEarl Barron,
Jan VeselyChris SingletonTrevor BookerGarrett TempleEmeka OkaforTrevor Ariza,
Martell WebsterA.J. PriceJordan CrawfordKevin SeraphinBradley BealNeneJohn Wall.]

Emeka Okafor

6-10 : Height
252 lbs. : Weight
30 : Age
9 : Years NBA Experience
3 : NBA Teams

Traded by the New Orleans Hornets along with Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards
in exchange for Rashard Lewis and a second round pick on June 20, 2012.

Time as a Wizard in 2012-13

79 : Games
77 : Starts
2,052 : Minutes

1.43 out of 3 stars

Average Truth About It.net DC Council Game Rating
{Okafor evaluated over 76 games} 

15.8 PER

NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Tyson Chandler for the 2002-03 Chicago Bulls (15.8)
maybe Erick Dampier for the 2002-03 Golden State Warriors (15.8),
maybe Bison Dele for the 1998-99 Detroit Pistons (15.7)

.104 Win Shares/48 Minutes

NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Samuel Dalembert for the 2004-05 Philadelphia 76ers (.104),
maybe Bendan Haywood for the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks (.104),
maybe Brad Daugherty for the 1989-90 Cleveland Cavaliers (.104)

With Emeka Okafor on the Court…

The Wizards offense scored 1.0 point more per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 1.0 point less per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: minus-1.1

Numbers : Per 36 Minutes

13.4 : Points
12.1 : Rebounds
1.4 : Blocks
0.8: Steals
1.6 : Assists
1.9 : Turnovers
2.5 : Fouls

0.88 PPP

Okafor had 872 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.88 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 261st in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.81 PPP over 423 possessions, ranked 73rd.


47.7% Field Goals (328-687)
58.4% Free Throws (109-191)

[stats via NBA.com/stats and Basketball-Reference.com]


Emeka Okafor in 2012-13 with the Wizards:
A Three-Sided Coin

by Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)

The many faces of Chukwuemeka Noubuisi Okafor: Emeka the Professional, Emeka the Player and Emeka the Contract.

The Professional

As the Washington Post’s Michael Lee tells it, it’s not a stretch to say that Emeka Okafor earned his entire $13.5 million salary on February 27. That was the night of John Wall’s horrific meltdown against the Detroit Pistons which resulted in a fourth quarter benching, followed by a tense post-game interview where Wall blamed his teammates for mishandling his passes, followed by awkward post-game interviews with his teammates where they downplayed his struggles.

It was obvious something was wrong with Wall, but no one wanted to talk about it. Asked whether any veteran said something to Wall during the game, Martell Webster responded, “It’s all about motivation at that point. You’re not gonna brow beat anybody, just going to continue to encourage them and motivate them to lift them out of their slump. … So, it’s not a matter of brow beating ‘cause why would you do that, I mean we need him to be at his calmest.”

Enter Emeka Okafor. Professional brow beater. Michael Lee reported there was a heated confrontation between Wall and Okafor during which Okafor pretty much told Wall to get his head out of his ass and act like a leader.

Looks like Wall needed the tough love and nobody—other than Okafor—was willing to give it to him. You can’t put a price tag on that type of leadership, although $13.5 million probably comes close. The words “leadership” and “professionalism” get thrown around a lot in sports but rarely do you get such a clear example of its impact in the locker room. It’s scary to think what might have happened to Wall (and the team) if Emeka had not, as it were, encouraged him to remove his head from his ass.

The Player 

Emeka’s up and down performance on the court has been well chronicled. In short, he was awful to start the season, then morphed into a double-double machine once Wall returned. He also led the league in a peculiar and surprising stat—FG% on hook shots. (No. 2 on the list was Washington’s very own Kevin Seraphin.)

But his biggest contribution may have been on the defensive end. As a team, Washington emerged this season as a defensive force, ending the year as the eighth stingiest unit. While the credit does not lie with one player, it’s hard to deny Okafor’s impact as the defensive anchor. For a team only one year removed from an Andray Blatche/JaVale McGee front court,Okafor was a huge step in the right direction.

Which brings us to the final side of the coin…

The Contract

Last June it was no secret that New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps was looking to cut payroll. Rumor was he might be willing to give up the No. 10 pick if a team took on Okafor or Ariza’s contract. Ernie did him one better. Washington took on BOTH contracts and let New Orleans keep the No. 10 pick, inexplicably sending New Orleans a second round pick in addition to Rashard Lewis’ partially guaranteed expiring contract, which saved New Orleans roughly $10 million up front and $22 million the following year. You can imagine Demps’ reaction when he hung up the phone. Needless to say, the trade was met with mixed emotions. The criticism was not so much an indictment of Okafor and Ariza as much as a lament of opportunities lost. But that’s a story for another time….

Let’s move on to opportunities gained. Emeka enters next season with a $14.5 million expiring contract. All options are on the table—from trading him at the deadline to a contender for young assets to re-signing him to a more palatable multi-year deal as our defensive anchor/mentor.

The decision is essentially a referendum on the rebuild. If you are happy with the direction of the team and are excited to battle for the 8th seed after an almost .500 record with John Wall, then Okafor is an essential piece of the puzzle. If you think “win now” does not apply to a team coming off five straight sub-30 win seasons and that our young assets outside of Wall and Beal are lacking, then Okafor is a nice trade chip to acquire another building block. If history is any indication, Ernie is firmly in the first camp.

Adam Rubin on EmailAdam Rubin on Twitter
Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.