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July 27, 2008

Some 'comps' for Okafor?

There’s a concept in real estate called, “comps,’’ as in you can’t appraise something’s value without at least two examples of what comparable properties were worth.

        I would argue that Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut and Golden State’s Andris Biedrins are big men of comparable value to Emeka Okafor. And with both of them signed, they represent comps.

          Please, no overstated statistical analyses (yes, I’m talking to you, Michael Procton). I’m not ranking these three versus each other. I’m simply saying that with different skill sets and teammates, they are roughly comparable players at roughly the same position.

          So consider:

Biedrins has reportedly agreed to a 6-year contract, worth approximately $63 million, with a player opt-out after five seasons. So that’s a $10.5 million average, but with the significant advantage of a player opt-out.

          Bogut reportedly was guaranteed $60 million over five years (a $12 million average) plus incentives that could push total compensation up to $72 million. (Those incentives, such as the Bucks winning the NBA championship, sound pretty challenging.)

         Okafor was once offered over $12 million a season. Now, according to a source I consider credible, the Bobcats offer is much closer to a $10 million-a-season average.

          Bottom line: If the Bobcats were in danger of over-paying Okafor at over $12 million a season, they’re low-balling him now if they’re offering $10 million a season.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 27, 2008 at 08:59 PM | Permalink


He should not resign and move to a real team. A team with a owner who lives in the same town as the team. A team that has a front office that knows something about basketball. MJ has failed at every team he has tried to be an executive at. His airness is not working in the queen city.
Bob Johnson only knows how to ask for public assistance, and then whine for more. This organization is not even thought of as a pro organization in the league.
Okafor should think of these things before he makes a committment to this team. The owner and assistant owner hasn't made any committment.

Posted by: nba/is/so/over | Jul 27, 2008 9:58:08 PM

Very good comparison and analysis. Both are players reasonably similar. One could make the case that Okafor's production is better, and his upside (somewhat limited beyond current levels) is similar to both of these players.

I hope the front office will make a better offer, close if not slightly better than these deals, and get on with obtaining a starting-level PF with our MLE. We need that player badly and it's NOT May, or Davidson, and it's CLEARLY not Ajinca for another couple of seasons.

Posted by: Mark | Jul 27, 2008 10:42:00 PM

A couple of other good 'comps' based on last year's production are Chris Kaman, Tyson Chandler and Samuel Dalembert. Adding those to the Biedrins / Bogut analysis, here's a look at the average yearly salary the players are getting on their current contracts:

Biedrins - $10.5MM
Kaman - $10.85MM
Dalembert - $11.36MM
Chandler - $11.85MM
Bogut - $12.1MM

Production wise, I think Okafor rates pretty well against Chandler and Bogut and slightly above the other 3.

Personally, I would think the Bobcats first offer was pretty reasonable for both sides. I'd be curious to see what type of contract Okafor is looking to get because you have a couple of 20 & 10 guys in Carlos Boozer and Al Jefferson making $12.1MM and $13MM per season respectively, so getting much north of $12MM per year is a pretty tough sell.

Posted by: vtdalvis | Jul 27, 2008 11:41:39 PM

Bonnell thanks for the info. Maybe a deal can get worked out now?

One thing is for sure, Procton is going to love that you acknowledged him.

Posted by: Yeah? | Jul 28, 2008 3:37:00 AM

Yep, Rick just fed Procton's little ego.

Bobs are idiots for offering $2M less than they did last year. That's a slap in the face. Next thing you know MJ will hit on Emeka's girlfriend.

Posted by: LeeL | Jul 28, 2008 8:18:40 AM

12 million a year is cool. I don't think the Bobcats should pay more than that.

Posted by: Token | Jul 28, 2008 8:19:13 AM

The bobcats pissed off Okafor with the $10MM offer this season, however most GMs around the league last year felt that the $12MM offer was a bit high. The bobcats, sensing that no teams had real cap space or the desire to try and sign Okafor away, tried to lowball him somewhat. I still think its in both sides best interest to come to an agreement. Bobcats should offer him 5 years at $60MM with possibly some incentives similar to Bogut.

Posted by: Mason | Jul 28, 2008 8:43:10 AM

Sign him to a 6Yrs. deal worth $12-12.5 per year and an opt-out option for the last year. Also include some incentives like (ie):

Make the Playoffs ($250K+)
Win the Division ($500K+)
Win the Conference??? ($1M+)
Rebound leader ($250K+)
Block leader ($250K+)
Most double-double in a season ($350K+)
Avg. Career high 16+ppg and 12+ rpg ($500K+)
Make the All star team ($500K+)
Player of the Week/Month ($100K+/$250K+)

All these examples of achievements are good for incentives and would benefit both the Bobcats and Okafor.

Posted by: RobC | Jul 28, 2008 9:34:19 AM

Rick, does your source know what's happening at the moment? Is Mek gonna hold out? Are the Cats just being stubborn?

Posted by: apauldds | Jul 28, 2008 9:50:58 AM

I don't think the cats first offer was too low at all, Mek could have had 12 mil a year yet chose to "prove his worth" last season. He proved it alright...to me he is worth no more than 11.5 MAX. He is not nearly as skilled in the post as Bogut, and not nearly as explosive as Chandler. He is a solid defender and rebounder who will get you 10-15 points a night and 5 to 10 rebounds...

Like VTdalvis said, 12 mil is Boozer Al jefferson territory and Mek is definitely not EVER going to give the bobcags 20 & 10 a night consistently

Posted by: ArtVandelay | Jul 28, 2008 9:59:49 AM

No statistical regression needed. The three are roughly comparable players. Both are better and more versatile offensive threats (though I think Emeka could be more of a threat if featured in an offense), but Emeka is in a different class as a defender, and he's a superior rebounder to either of them. Both of them ARE younger and more inexperienced, so the case could be made that they've got more upside, but unlike some, I think Okafor has shown improvement since he came into the league, too.

The note about $12 mil being "Boozer territory" is an interesting one. When Boozer got that contract, he was coming off...a 15-11-1 season, hitting .523 on his field goals. Emeka is coming off of 14-11-2, hitting .535 as a lesser cog in his team's offense. Seems pretty similar, huh? Al Jefferson, too, was not as accomplished for his career as Emeka currently is when he was signed to his extension in Minnesota. He was off to a good start to the season, but Emeka still surpasses his career numbers of 13-8-1. So it's a question of upside, I guess, and whether we're willing to express the kind of basketball commitment to that guy (getting him real help in the post, getting him shots) that that kind of financial commitment would merit.

Oh, and PS: thanks, Rick, but that blog mention stuff is old hat. They referenced me on the Panthers side MONTHS ago. ;)

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 28, 2008 10:27:30 AM

The only problems with Emeka is that he's shown that he's a solid player but nowhere near the star that he was forecasted to be! And had every bit of confidence that he'd be a star defensive player; he's not thus far. I believed that he would learn some post moves and be a 20 point scorer in the league; nopes, not even close..

So while his career averages are solid, where's the high upside potential (to steal a line from Hubie Brown). The problem is, he's got nowhere near the offensive potential of Al Jefferson and he's nowhere near the beast that Dwight Howard is. What in the world happened to Emeka Okafor? One of my favorite college players is solid but utterly unspectacular. Where is his all-world defense? I say give him $11 mil a year and hope that Larry Brown improves the team's defense and teaches Emeka how to beast it on defense (which he's certainly capable of doing).

Posted by: Binh Ho | Jul 28, 2008 11:23:28 AM

This dude hasn't helped the Bobcats win jack, he wasn't worth the $60 million investment, so I'm not sure how fans can support him being a $72 million investment.

The Bobcats offer of $10 million per is the same money as it was last year, it would just take him an extra year to earn it.

I personally don't value hollow numbers, and we can talk about his solid numbers all day, but 0 playoff appearances in the East, you can't give huge contracts to guys who clearly don't help you make the playoffs in a rather weak conference.

Posted by: Justin | Jul 28, 2008 11:51:39 AM

Really? You're going to blame Okafor for not taking this EXPANSION team, which has actually spent money to win in ONE of its four seasons for not winning? Please.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 28, 2008 12:00:45 PM

The time to sign oke is now. The only thing last year proved was that a bad coach can create a loss of purpose. Oke is a player, but he can't do it on his own. Last years team was not a team, but a group of players that knew more that the coach, so the team was pulled five ways at one time. This years team will have a real coach who will not put up with players trying to coach. Oke will thrive in this. He will not vanish on offence this year, Brown want let it happen. The numbers oke will put up next year will make a 12mil contract look cheap. Larry Brown teams play in your face defence. If you don't give the effort, you are on the bench. Oke is one piece of this pie. Bobcats management needs to also understand that if Brown doesn't get his pie, there is always a job for him in Philly. Just ask the Knicks.

Posted by: fred flinstone | Jul 28, 2008 12:03:58 PM

I like how procton is too slow to realize that even Bonnell tires of his inane and contextually absent statistical diatribes.

to the point, I think Bonnell's column shows clearly that the bcats have sized up the market and are trying to start at a better barginning place. Although, it could be argued that they may have offered an insultinly low price such that he'd take a lesser offer from another team to leave.

Agreed though that an $11 mill or so contract with incentives should be a very fair contract for Ok.

Posted by: bonnell=procton | Jul 28, 2008 1:05:04 PM

I prefer my "inane" facts over irrelevant hyperbole about how awesome Raymond Felton and Sean May were in college once upon a time.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 28, 2008 1:07:54 PM

Oh...and you were apparently "too slow" to note that I did no statistical comparisons between the three players mentioned whatsoever.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 28, 2008 1:08:27 PM

Procton, Bonnell was referring to your past posts, as was I.

I've only ever brought up college success to disprove any notion that felton is a combo guard. I stand by that.

Back the team, we obviously need post depth and have little money or options. Whether or not anything happens with okafor, what if we went out on a limb and picked up Kwame Brown.

Stay with me here...hopefully we resign okafor and brown is only ever a backup. So think about the fact that the bcats would be picking up a back up PF/C that's only 26 but is 6-11 270 with all the intangibles in the world.

I know he hasn't amounted to anything as a number 1 pick, but wouldn't you be willing to pick him up for say $5mill a season? Aren't you a better team with Kwame as a back up than Hollins?

Posted by: bonnell=procton | Jul 28, 2008 1:20:05 PM

B=P, do you think Michael Jordan will want his name to be tied in any way with Kwame Brown ever again?! I don't think so; as an executive for the Bobcats, MJ has already added plenty of stains to his repute, and he won't let Kwame, of all players, be another one... More to the point, not much came out of Kwame's much touted potential. Besides his small hands' issue, his main problem is a lack of desire, of motivational spark. I saw more desire to be successful in each one of Ryan Hollins's games than in all of Kwame's performances put together (and, believe me, I used to watch Kwame a lot, I used to hope that something really good will come out of his potential).

Posted by: Sandy | Jul 28, 2008 4:32:42 PM

Leave it to Procton to bring up Felts and May in a discussion about Mek.

Posted by: apauldds | Jul 28, 2008 4:42:55 PM

Okafor does need to stay on this team in order for them to be successful. I do like the idea of bringing in Kwame Brown if you can get him for what he is worth and that is maybe 1.25-2mil a year for 2 years. I am still hoping that maybe no other team goes after Zo and we can bring him in as well, to help bring a lot our post players and maybe just maybe get him into the coaching ranks. I still think for this team paying the money we did for Wallace and Carroll is going to hurt us. Maybe this year they prove their worth. Chemistry could have been a problem, and I think Carroll is better with more consistent mins which he only received in spurts last year. Lets see what happens but I like Kwame Brown being here, heck I think he could be the start center for us, helping move Okafor to the Power Forward postion. Yet, I doubt Brown wants to be around Jordan again.

Posted by: knewton | Jul 28, 2008 4:50:38 PM

procton has a vendetta against anything UNC after his 1 glorious year there.

Posted by: JD | Jul 28, 2008 9:05:40 PM

Kwame just inked a 2yr 8MM deal with Detroit.

Generally I'd say these things usually work themselves out, pride gets a back seat to business sense and the bobcats are in the best position to get a deal done w Mek, who has limited options.

But he did turn down a very fair contract offer last year so he's shown the business sense can take a back seat to pride. The low offer may cost them big time here.

Posted by: john | Jul 28, 2008 11:30:13 PM

Please, no overstated statistical analyses (yes, I’m talking to you, Michael Procton)

that has got to be the greatest and most true line in the history of charlotte.com blogs.

Posted by: matt | Jul 29, 2008 8:16:33 AM

Amen...Higgins and Co. got it done. We WILL have a shot at being competitive within the next three years.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 29, 2008 8:29:52 AM

I love it, Okafor signed for essentially the same contract he was offered last season which means he forfeited like $6MM. Glad we got him signed, we would have been terrible without him, but I still hope he has been working on his midrange jump shot this summer or a legit post move. Either would be nice from a $12MM man.

Posted by: Mason | Jul 29, 2008 8:52:54 AM

I think Okafor is a very good player and we almost had to sign him long term. I mean, had we let him go, what are we left with? Nazr, May, Hollings, Davidson????

Posted by: matt | Jul 29, 2008 9:05:34 AM

I liken okafor to buck williams from the nets/blazers from the 80's and 90's. he is solid, and the bobcats knew he was solid, not outstanding when they drafted him. used as a selling point to fans, people expect more from him then he can consistantly provide. at times he can show flashes of great play beyond the norm for him. season two before he went down in the sacramento game he was playing like that, but not every game. surrounded by players who can score(richardson) and defend and hustle(wallace) okafor can "do his part". the team has done some bold moves with signings and trades, I just hope it is to get us beyond just making the playoffs. yes we have to start somewhere. so on paper the team is set for next season with this signing i would guess. heres to a good season and lets see what happens.

Posted by: brendan | Jul 29, 2008 9:44:53 AM

I guess I wasn't too silly to want to sign Kwame...oh well.

Now the bcats just need to get a starting PF that can spread the floor some more. I still think our best line up is

Posted by: bonnell=procton | Jul 29, 2008 10:01:36 AM

This was the best news I've seen during the summer. Signing Okafor was more than a need an obligation, given the situation in the NBA right now. It would be awesome if we could get Mourning here and send Ajinca to D-League or Europe for a year.

Getting Mourning would be great, he would be like a Player-Coach to our C & PF, plus his defensive skills would give the Bobcats one of the most defensive backcourts in the league.

Will management be smart enough to do that, or they can only make 1 good move per season? Last year was J-Rich, this year is Okafor. Would that be all they will do?

Eventhough I think May (if Healthy???) can be a huge help inside, and I beleive Jermareo is ready to put some good minutes at the NBA level this year; Mourning would be awesome. But we also need a 3rd PG and send Weaver and Ajinca to D-League, or trade Morrison.

The lineup would be:

PG - Felton/Augustine/PG???
SG - Richardson/Carroll/Morrison?
SF - Wallace/Dudley
PF - Okafor/May/Jermareo
C - Mourning?/Mohamed/Hollins

Posted by: RobC | Jul 29, 2008 10:26:33 AM

I really think Mek is most productive at C.
To me, PF is now the really big ?, I think we are at least solid at the other spots.

PG - Felton/DJA or DJA/Felton
SG - JRich, Carroll, AMMO
SF - GW, Dudley, AMMO
PF - May?, Davidson?, Ajinca?
C - Okafor, Mohamed, Hollins

Obviously Dudley and GW can play some 4 in small ball lineups, and Mek can slide over there if we go big but neither is a very effective long term lineup. Hopefully May is healthy and Davidson steps up his game to be a reliable backup but on paper the 4 spot is a massive hole.

Posted by: john | Jul 29, 2008 10:44:57 AM

Rob, it's too late on Ajinca. They bought him out of his contract in France so he could sit on the bench and take up a roster spot all year.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 29, 2008 11:05:47 AM

are there any ESPN trade machine junkie's out there?

Anyone tried to see if they can get salaries to match for a premier PF?

With Amir Johnson and Kwame brown in the rotation, any chance bcats pick up Rasheed?

What about that young pf/c for the 76ers that Brand and Spleights have made superfluous?

What about Josh Smith of Atlanta? snowball's chance we do that deal?

Josh Smith

Posted by: bonnell=procton | Jul 29, 2008 12:36:23 PM

John, we already passed on our long-term solution at PF during this year's draft for what might amount to a career back-up PG. Instead of drafting Randolph, who some consider the single most talented player in the draft ahead of Beasley and Rose, we drafted a 5'10 shoot-first PG. I guess a back-up PG was our second biggest need but it would have been nice to have drafted a 6'10 plus PF w/ freakish athletic ability and a strong work ethic. Oh well, maybe we will get lucky and draft Griffin next year or May will stay healthy.

Posted by: Mason | Jul 29, 2008 12:36:32 PM

RobC: "It would be awesome if we could get Mourning here and send Ajinca to D-League or Europe for a year."

Procton: "Rob, it's too late on Ajinca. They bought him out of his contract in France so he could sit on the bench and take up a roster spot all year."

Procton, they can still send him to the NBDL.

Posted by: Yeah? | Jul 29, 2008 1:12:04 PM

Yes, you're right, we could send him down, but we're still down a roster spot. That would leave us with only 14 players on the bench, which could cause problems in the case of injuries (as we saw when we suited up less than 12 several times last year.)

Mason, while you keep throwing out that "shoot-first" label, I'm more than willing to bet that Felton will take shots at a higher rate and a lower percentage than Augustin this year.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 29, 2008 1:24:59 PM

Lower percentage I will concede, higher rate I doubt. Augustin has a scorer's mentality and that is hard to break. Once again, a good percentage of Felton's shots last season were end of the shot-clock forced shots b/c of poor offensive movement and execution. A more efficient and better run offense, aka Okafor, Nazr and Wallace not all standing around watching, will lead to less shots for Felton and higher percentage shots when he does shoot. However, either way, I don't care who is playing PG Felton or Augustin, we need a decent PF and Okafor to work on his jumper so we can spread the floor and actually run a pick-n-roll and/or pick-n-pop.

Posted by: Mason | Jul 29, 2008 1:43:30 PM

And Mason, Randolph will have an SFs game for the rest of his career. Maybe, MAYBE he fills out and gets a PFs body to go with that wing player game, but he's certainly no sure-fire "long-term solution" at PF.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 29, 2008 1:47:04 PM

What will the bcats do with their lineup then? That's the question I have for the draft, what is there plan?

If we assume they want/need to make the playoffs this year and that there is a hole in the PF spot, what do they do?

Do they know more about May than we do?
Do they have a free agent signing in mind?
Are they going to move G Wall to PF?

Posted by: bonnell=procton | Jul 29, 2008 3:40:02 PM

What will the bcats do with their lineup then? That's the question I have for the draft, what is there plan?

If we assume they want/need to make the playoffs this year and that there is a hole in the PF spot, what do they do?

Do they know more about May than we do?
Do they have a free agent signing in mind?
Are they going to move G Wall to PF?

Posted by: bonnell=procton | Jul 29, 2008 3:40:18 PM

Oh, Bonnell. Bonnell, Bonnell, Bonnell. Is this the 4th or 5th strike now?

Why don't you use your powers for good?

We're a Rick Bonnell "The World Will Never Be Peaceful" blog away from world peace.

We're a Rick Bonnell "Gas Will Never Drop Below $3 Again, Book It" blog away from gas again being $1.25/gallon.

We're a Rick Bonnell "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? We'll Never Know" blog away from finding Osama Bin Laden.

Just remember, Bonnell: as impressive as it is for someone to be right 100% of the time, it's almost an equally amazing accomplishment for someone to be wrong 100% of the time.

An amazing accomplishment.......just something you shouldn't be getting paid to do.

Posted by: Will | Jul 29, 2008 4:48:57 PM

At 6'10 and a half, possibly still growing, and extremely long arms I see him playing PF and being the prototypical new-age PF. Once again, look at all of the teams in the East. He played all five positions during summer camp, and can play either SF or PF depending on the team and style of play without a problem. He has already put on 10 pounds and is still filling out. If we played G Wallace at PF I see no reason why a guy who will be 25 pounds heavier, 2 plus inches taller and has much longer arms can't. Heck, his wingspan is longer than Okafors.

Posted by: Mason | Jul 29, 2008 4:50:03 PM

Wingspan alone doesn't do you anything when you're getting posted up by Elton Brand or Chris Bosh or Kevin Garnett. The kid simply doesn't have the bulk to compete on the block.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jul 30, 2008 9:24:16 AM

Randolph provides flexibility. If it is a matter of bulk, then you put Okafor on that player. However, when it comes to the mobile guys that kill us, they put Randolph on him. Furthermore, 2 of those 3 guys you listed were both really skinny when they came in the league. No one said that he doesn't need to bulk up, but he could still provide a dimension on both ends of the court that we needed last year. We got killed more about guys in space than on the block.

Finally, I see Randolph more as a face up 4 than as a 3.

Posted by: jperry | Jul 30, 2008 1:53:46 PM

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