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Hornets Trade Okafor And Ariza To Wizards

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New Orleans Hornets have shipped approximately $43 million in payroll over the next two seasons to the Washington Wizards in a trade. Center Emeka Okafor and small forward Trevor Ariza are going to the Wizards in exchange for forward Rashard Lewis and Washington’s second-round pick (No. 46 overall) in the draft next Thursday.

Lewis is due an absurd $23.7 million this season, the last year on his contract. Several reports are noting that New Orleans will reach a  buyout of about $14 million and Lewis likely won’t play for the team this season. If this transaction comes to pass, the Hornets will be saving about $29 million of cap space over the next two seasons.

With more financial flexibility, the Hornets improve their chances of not only resigning restricted free agent Eric Gordon, but signing more young free agents to pair with Gordon and expected number one overall draft pick Anthony Davis.

In addition to the number one overall pick, the Hornets own the 10th pick of the first round, and now have a 2nd rounder from today’s trade. With Okafor and Ariza being shipped, the Hornets could consider drafting another big, or possibly a SF with the 10th pick.

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