Multiple outlets confirmed early Wednesday afternoon that the New Orleans Hornets have agreed to a trade that sends forward Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor to the Washington Wizards for forward Rashard Lewis and a 2012 second round draft pick.
The deal, first reported by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com, unloads the salaries of Ariza (2-years, $15 million) and Okafor (2-years, $28 million) in exchange for Lewis, a combo small/power forward who has just one year on his contract for a staggering $23.79 million.
â€śFirst, we want to thank Emeka and Trevor for their service on and off the court for our organization. Both of those gentlemen are good players and better people that will be missed,â€ť Hornets General Manager Dell Demps said in a team release. â€śWe are rebuilding our team and this is one step in our new direction. This trade will provide an opportunity for our young players to develop and create flexibility to add to our core group moving forward.â€ť
Here's more on Lewis from the Hornets announcement of the trade:
Lewis (6-10, 230), a two-time NBA All-Star will enter his 14th season in the NBA after averaging 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 28 games last season (15 starts). He scored double digit points nine times before suffering a left knee bone bruise which ended his 2011-12 campaign before the All-Star break.
The 32-year-old veteran holds career averages of 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game over 934 games (827 starts). During the 2006-07 season, the best of his 13 year career, Lewis averaged 22.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while starting 60 games for the Seattle SuperSonics. Lewis was drafted by Seattle as the 32nd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, spending nine seasons with the Sonics before playing three seasons for the Orlando Magic, where he helped the franchise represent the Eastern Conference in the 2009 NBA Finals. Most recently, Lewis was traded to Washington by Orlando in exchange for Gilbert Arenas on December 18, 2010.
Lewis, who turns 33 before the start of the next NBA season, was born in Pineville, Louisiana but grew up in Texas. The 6-foot-10, 215 pounder is a 14-year veteran who has averaged over 16 points per game in his career but just 7.8 in 28 games (15 starts) last season for his worst average scoring output since his second year in the league.
Givony also points out that the Hornets also have the option of buying out Lewis' contract $13.7 million before July 1.
New Orleans, which did not possess a second round pick in next week's NBA draft, now also possess Washington's pick at 46th overall from the deal.
The process of a major reshaping of the Hornets roster continues in the draft on June 28. The team holds the top overall pick which it is sure to use of Kentucky big man Anthony Davis as well as the 10th overall selection.
New Orleans will have to replace two starters with the departures of Ariza and Okafor, who both started every game they played with the Hornets
Ariza came to the Crescent City in August 2012 via a four-team, five-player trade that sent point guard Darren Collison to the Indiana Pacers. The UCLA product turns 27 on June 30 and averaged just under 11 points per game plus 5.3 rebounds per contest in two seasons with the Hornets
Okafor, 29, came to New Orleans in a swap of center Tyson Chandler to the Charlotte Bobcats in June 2009. The former number two overall pick out of UConn in 2004 spent three season with the Hornets and averaged over 10 points and nine rebounds per game during that span.
|< Prev||Next >|