A friend of mine called me last night and said that he heard on ESPN that Okafor wouldn't even come back for max money. I think he heard wrong but I think it did mean that he wants max money. Now the question is, is he worth that? Honestly, I think there are only 5 or 6 players in the NBA worth max money and Mek isn't one of them unless he can put up 20/10/3 (blocks) and play 70+ games this season.
He's aspiring to be elite. That can and will be spun as "Okafor demands a max contract", but if you catch Bonnell's blog and the other article it's more of a "goal oriented" thing...which are his words actually. At the end of the season no doubt he'll be able to assess what he's worth and come to an agreement with the organization.
I feel as confident as ever that he'll remain a Bobcat for a long time.
He will try to have his best year yet so that his value will increase. It's his way of getting the best contract that he can from the Cats. He played really well last night except for the darned free throws and the refs who seemed determined to get him to foul out of the game.
Not this latest contract, but the one in 2005 which was for a 3 year deal...last being a player option which he just exercised in 2007. Pretty sure it was reported (can't get old Observer articles) that Bernie wanted to lock him up for longer, but Crash thought he was worth more (the opt out was for 5.5 million). They ended up compromising on the years so he could prove his worth. He did, and we rewarded him for it...at a steal too.
If he plays in 75+ games, and averages 17ppg along with 11.5+ boards with 2.5 bpg than yes, I say we give him max money.
Thus far in 2 games I believe hes around 16.5, 13, and 3. Of course thats only after 2 games, but he is the epitome of what this organization is about. Work ethic, and determination. He comes into camp every year in incredible shape ( even the year he put on 15 pounds in the offseason he looked like a body builder ). Thus far, after 2 whole games lets compare Okafor and Howard.
13.5 rpg 13.3
2 spg 0 spg
3 bpg 3.7 bpg
Okafor is also shooting better from the field and playing more minutes. He is determined this year, and by the end of the season I expect Howard to have better numbers, but if Okafor can just stay anywhere close to his stature, and put this team in the playoffs you have to pay him max money or whatever it takes to resign him.
Ya but the Magic also gave max money to another player so Howard's max contract becomes smaller. As far as I know, there isn't a set 'max' amount a player can be paid, it depends on the amount of salary space a team has in the year the player signs the deal.