The 2004 NBA Draft wasn't one of the more memorable ones as there wasn't a plethora of talent outside of Dwight Howard, Luol Deng, Al Jefferson and Andre Iguodala. There was a pretty big debate though as to who would get picked first overall between the high school graduate Howard and UConn graduate Emeka Okafor.
Well, it turns out that it was a no-brainer as the Orlando Magic took Howard and made a run to the 2009 NBA Finals and has made eight All-Star Games. Okafor had a modest career beset with some injuries as he averaged 12.3 points and about 10 rebounds per game over the course of nine seasons. He hasn't been in the league since 2013, but is looking to make a comeback.
According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Okafor's agent Jeff Schwartz has confirmed that he is hoping to return to the NBA this coming season. Okafor is still working on getting his conditioning to an NBA level and wants to make sure there are no potential setbacks if he does indeed accomplish this comeback.
Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 overall pick who has been out of the NBA for three seasons, has decided to attempt a comeback with an eye toward joining a "contending team" in December or January.
Okafor's agent, Jeff Schwartz, confirmed that Okafor, who last played for the Washington Wizards in 2012-13 before suffering a herniated disc in his neck, is in the gym training and working on his conditioning.
"He's probably five or six months away,'' Schwartz said. "He's been working hard rehabbing. For some guys that means one thing. To Emeka, who understands his body as well or better than some trainers that have worked with him, it means something else. He's healthy. He feels great, but he's a perfectionist, and he wants everything to be right.''
Okafor hadn't been playing because of a herniated disc in his neck so coming back from that on top of his three years out of the league might prove quite difficult. He could be a solid big man to have off the bench though assuming he clears his physical and someone is willing to give him a shot. The 33-year old could end up with a true contender like Golden State, San Antonio or Cleveland who could all use some depth at the forward or center position on their bench.