The Washington Wizards have sent Rashard Lewis to the New Orleans Hornets and exchange have picked up Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.
As part of the agreement the Washington Wizards will also hand over their No. 46 overall pick in next weeks NBA draft.
According to SportingNews:
“The Hornets were set to pay Okafor and Ariza a combined $40 million dollars over the next two seasons, according to HoopsHype’s contract database. Lewis has one season and $23.8 million remaining on his contract and, according to DraftExpress, can be bought out for $13.7 million before July 1. If the Hornets go that route, they’ll have saved around $27 million dollars.”
Okafor, 29, scored career lows last season, averaging 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and one block per game. Ariza, considered a versatile defensive player averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists along with 1.7 steals per game. They will join former Denver Nuggets player Nene on a rebuilt Washington frontcourt.
By waiving Lewis before July 1 Washington Wizards are expected to cut $10 million of his $24 million contract for the 2012-2013 season, money they will use to re-sign restricted free agent Eric Gordon, the player they exchanged for Chris Paul in December.
The trade decision was confirmed by CBS’s Ken Berger:
Souce confirms @DraftExpress report that Hornets have agreed to trade Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to Wizards for Rashard Lewis, 46th pick.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) June 20, 2012
Other users couldn’t believe Rashard Lewis was traded given his horrible contract. Roy Burton @TheBSLine tweeted: