Wizards’ Okafor, Ariza Not Opting-Out
The Washington Wizards fully expected that center Emeka Okafor and forward Trevor Ariza would be under contract through the 2013-14 season when they acquired them last June from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for forward Rashard Lewis’s expiring contract. Okafor and Ariza have early-termination options in their contracts for next season, but both confirmed this week their intentions to finish out their respective deals.
“I don’t know many people who are going to leave money on the table and I’m not one of the people to do that, so most likely,” said Ariza, who is slated to earn $7.7 million next season.
Okafor is the Wizards’ highest-paid player and said he never considered opting out of his deal to become a free agent this summer, even as the team stumbled to a 4-28 start.
“I think that this team can do something,” Okafor said. “I definitely think that if everybody was healthy, we’d be a playoff team this year.”