After suffering career-threatening back issues, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor is planning to sign a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Okafor, 35, last played for the Washington Wizards in 2013, when he suffered a herniated disk injury and underwent multiple years of rehabilitation. The 6-foot-10 center has worked out for teams over the past couple years, but signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in training camp and has played for their G League affiliate in Delaware this season.
In 26 games for Delaware, Okafor averaged 6.9 points, eight rebounds and 19.9 minutes per game. For New Orleans, the decision to pivot toward Okafor came after the team changed course on a 10-day deal with five-year NBA veteran Terrence Jones.
Okafor, the Rookie of the Year in 2005, has played 10 seasons for Charlotte, New Orleans and Washington. Okafor entered the NBA after a standout career at UConn. He has career averages of 12.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Around the NBA, including with Delaware, Okafor has a reputation as a strong worker and high-character professional.
New Orleans, 28-23 and one game out of the fifth seed in the Western Conference, has searched for a veteran big man since losing DeMarcus Cousins to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
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