The Washington Wizards have made a huge move a little more than a week away from the NBA Draft by trading forward Rashard Lewis and the No. 46 overall draft pick to the New Orleans Hornets for forwards Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. The move was first reported by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
NBA source tells me Emeka Okafor and Trevor Arizona have been traded to the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis and the #46 pick— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 20, 2012
The Wizards have been looking to possibly help their front court and getting both Ariza and Okafor should do just that. Ariza played 41 games for the Hornets last season, averaging 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Okafor played 27 games for the Hornets last season, averaging 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
With this trade, the Wizards now may be in a position to do two things. The first thing could be to amnesty Andray Blatche and remove his contract from the books. The second could be to use the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA draft to select Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal on June 28.
Ariza is owed just over $7.2 million next season and has a player option worth $7.7 million in 2013-14. Okafor, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, is owed $28.2 million over the next two seasons, including an early termination option for 14.6 million in 2013-14.