ESPN is reporting that the Charlotte Bobcats have agreed to send PF/C Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets for C Tyson Chandler.  This is a far cry from the garbage (Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox) that the Hornets would have received for him in February had Chandler not failed his physical.

Okafor has many of Chandler’s qualities, only he is more of a force on the offense.  He’s a great rebounder, shot blocker, shoots great from the floor, and poorly from the line.  He also has had some injury history.  Here’s a look at their numbers from last year and for their careers.

Okafor:

2008 - 13.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 0.6 apg, 1.66 bpg, 0.59 spg, 56.1 FG%, 59.3 FT% 
Career – 14.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.88 bpg, 0.76 spg, 50.6 FG%, 59.6 FT%

Chandler:
2008 – 8.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 1.24 bpg, 0.33 spg, 56.5 FG%, 57.9 FT%
Career – 8.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.41 bpg, 0.54 spg, 55.6 FG%, 59.9 FT%

Okafor’s fantasy value should increase slightly because he is joining forces with Chris Paul, the best Point Guard in the game.  David West is a big factor on the offensive end, which keeps Okafor’s stock from rising dramatically.  West’s fantasy value takes a slight hit because of Okafor’s arrival since Chandler basically worked on scraps he picked up with Offensive Rebounds or out on the break.  Okafor will have more plays run through him than Chandler did.  There should be plenty of goodies for both West and Okafor though.  Chandler’s value takes a slight hit. 

We’re through a good chuck of the season.  Enoough time has gone past that fantasy teams have already dug themselves into a hole because of underperforming studs.  Now is your chance to take advantage of their shortcomings and snatch their guys while their value is low.

Luol Deng - Deng isn’t meeting the standards he’s set for himself over the past couple of years in which he averaged 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists. Currently he’s averaging 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.  In four December games though, he’s up to 18.3 points and 2.8 assists.  His rebounds are down to 4.3 for the month, but his steals and blocks are up. 

Elton Brand - Brand’s scoring, assists, blocks, and FG% are down to career lows of 16.2 ppg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 bpg, and 44.2%.  He’s adjusting to a different team, different conference, as well as trying to work the rust off after playing in just eight games last year.  He’ll be fine.  If you can get him for a song and a dance, you’ll be better for it in April.

Carmelo Anthony - His elbow has been bothering him, but that didn’t slow him the other night against the Timberwolves.  Thirty-three in one quarter. Crazy.  That could be enough for his owner to hold onto him, but it’s still worth trying.  His scoring is down to 20.9, which is the lowest for him since his second year in the league.  His rebounds are at a career high of 8.2, which is a solid number for a Small Forward.  He’s had seven double-doubles in the past month.

Tyson Chandler - Chandler’s been a disappointment this year with just 8.0 rebounds per game after averaging 12.1 over the past two years.  He had a double-double the last time out, and his upside is worth the risk (if you can swallow his FG%).


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