Emeka Okafor Ranked 71st by ESPN’s Team of NBA Writers

Published: October 3, 2011

New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor is the 71st ranked NBA player, according to ESPN’s team of basketball writers. ESPN recently asked every NBA writer they have at their disposal to rank every single NBA player in the game. Ryan and I both participated, and the results have been tallied and announced gradually both on Twitter and on ESPN.

Despite seeing his consecutive games played streak come to end at 306, Okafor recovered to play 72 regular season games in his second year with the Hornets after being traded for Tyson Chandler. He averaged just under 32 minutes per contest, while adding 10.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.

On the defensive side of the ball he looked much more comfortable than in 2009-2010, probably in large part because Chris Paul teamed with Trevor Ariza to shore up a perimeter defense regarded as one of the worst in the league the year before. Even Bill Simmons recently stated that Okafor is paid right in line with his performance, a radical change from the year before when he was listed as the third most overpaid player in the league. It’s amazing what a coach and teammates will do for your reputation…

In the first playoff series of his career, Okafor disappointed both himself and a lot of Hornets fans by getting into foul trouble early and often against the larger LA front court. He played just over 31 minutes a game against the Lakers despite David West being unavailable, averaging 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, and 4.7 fouls.

As it stands now, here are how players on the Hornets team at year end have fared so far:

113. Trevor Ariza
116. Carl Landry
214. Jarret Jack
228. Marco Belinelli
281. Aaron Gray
381. DJ Mbenga
385. Quincy Pondexter
477. Marcus Banks
485. Patrick Ewing jr.

Still to come– Chris Paul, David West


  1. da ThRONe

    October 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I don’t know why people are so impressed with Bill Simmons. His suggestion was awful IMO.

    As for Emeka I guess 72 is about right. but his contract should be for a guy that’s top 30 not in the 70’s. Athough if an amnesty clause is given we can’t afford to use it on any player. Every one of our player and their respective contracts have trade value. It makes very little sense with this weak FA pool to just let any of the few asset we have go. If any player under contract leaves it should be via trade.

    • Seattle Needle

      October 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Agreed. The only guy I would even think about using amnesty on would be Marcus Banks and that’s only if the new ownership wants to take the payroll all the way up to the lux tax level in an attempt to impress Chris Paul. Otherwise, it makes sense to keep his deal in place in case they want to use it to gain leverage against a team looking for an expiring deal.

  2. 42

    October 4, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Taking a soulless marhematical approach, a team with 1 starter from 1 to 30 (Chris), 1 from 31 to 60 (David), 1 from 61 to 90 (Emeka), 1 from 91 to 120 (Trevor) and 1 from 121 – 150 (oops!) who average in rank to around 75 would be a typical team.

    Regardless of the skew in talent of the low rank players, this is even more proof that we need more help at SG. That fact is the one constant in this rolling boil of a franchise. That help my be a better Beli or another player… I don’t care… Just get the damned help, man.

    • da ThRONe

      October 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I just feel like there are pieces out there that can get us on a championship level that can be acquired this year. It’s going to be a load for Demps to figure out, but that’s why he makes the money he does.

      I just don’t see a core of Okafor and Ariza(even if we retain West) as a championship team ever. Like I mentioned between what is mostly likely to be a tighter restrictions on salary caps and some very talented players on other teams that should be available via trade. It’s now or not for a very long time IMO.

      • 42

        October 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

        You may be right. I’m just pointing to another issue that needs fixing, and probably an easier one to fix.

        A problem, not the problem for sure.

  3. Pingback: Welcome to Amnesty 2.0 in the NBA | About Tyson Chandler

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