I first saw the rumblings on twitter and verified on ESPN.com – the Bobcats and Hornets are discussing a potential swap of Emeka Okafor for Tyson Chandler. New Orleans is seen as getting the better end of this one (at least on the court), as Emeka is a career 14 and 11 guy to Tyson's 8 and 9 (even his best season was 12 and 12, the only time he averaged more than 10 points a game). Financially, the Bobcats shed a long-term commitment and pickup a medium term one: Emeka has 5 years and about $52.5 million left and Chandler 2 years, $25 million. Why make this deal if you're the Cats? Well, Tyson Chandler may not score much, but he is an elite defender, even this past season playing on a gimpy toe (and he is a legit center at 7-1 to Emeka who stands “just” 6-10). To the numbers:
Here are Chandler's defensive numbers for this past season.If you do not notice anything else, catch the net PER he allowed: a 3.74 under expectations for his opponent. The best mark on the Bobcats this past season was Raymond Felton's 2.18, with Boris and Gerald both just over a 1. Emeka? 0.54. Here's Emeka's chart again, in case you were curious:
(And the full End of Season post for Emeka is here)
As you may have expected, having Tyson on the court was a big benefit for New Orleans (though part of that was the miserable depth behind him). Here are his on and off efficiencies:
Yes, the Bobcats will be giving up some offense. The upgrade Tyson represents at the defensive end, from a solid defender to a great one, may make this trade a bit less uneven than some fans may initially think. I certainly felt better when the numbers start processing and I saw these results in the works.