Wizards, Hornets Agree to Three-Player Deal
The New Orleans Hornets have traded Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Rashard Lewis and the No. 46 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress was the first to report the trade, which will be finalized soon. This is the first of what could be many trades in the days leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft.
The move allows New Orleans to clear a significant amount of cap space, since Lewis’ contract can be bought out for $13.7 million prior to July 1. HOOPSWORLD’s Yannis Koutroupis has confirmed with sources that Lewis is extremely likely to be bought out and become a free agent. Meanwhile, Washington adds two contributors as they look to go from perennial bottom feeder to playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
Last season, Okafor averaged 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in 27 games with the Hornets. He missed a significant chunk of the season with a knee injury. Ariza averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 41 games. Lewis averaged 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 28 games with the Wizards.