The trade will add two defensive specialists to Washington’s roster as the Wizards continue to try to change their culture around prized rookie John Wall. Okafor thus joins Nene to give Washington two veteran big men after the Brazilian was acquired at midseason from Denver in a deal that brought an end to JaVale McGee‘s stay in the nation’s capital.
The move, meanwhile, sheds two long-term contracts from the Hornets’ payroll while opening up minutes, through Okafor’s departure, for Kentucky star Anthony Davis, who almost assuredly will be selected No. 1 overall by New Orleans in next Thursday’s draft.
The Hornets, sources say, are planning to waive Lewis before July 1 to slice roughly $10 million off the $24 million that he is owed in 2012-13. With the resultant financial flexibility, New Orleans is confident in its ability to re-sign restricted free agent Eric Gordon this summer to ensure it doesn’t lose the best player it received in exchange for face-of-the-franchise Chris Paul in December.
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com