WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Washington Wizards added some size and depth to their frontcourt Wednesday by acquiring forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from the New Orleans Hornets.
In exchange for the 6-foot-10 (2.08m), 255-pound (115.7kg) Okafor, the Hornets receive small forward Rashard Lewis and the 46th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Okafor, the second overall pick in the 2004 Draft and the NBA’s rookie of the year, has career averages of 12.7 points, 10.1 rebounds in eight seasons in Charlotte and New Orleans.
He averaged 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds while shooting .533 from the field in 27 games for the Hornets last season.
The 6-foot-8 (2.03m) Ariza has career averages of nine points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals during eight years with New York, Orlando, the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston and New Orleans.
“We are pleased to add two more solid pieces as we continue to build our roster with a balance of proven veterans and the core of young talent that we have developed,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement.
“Emeka’s defensive presence and rebounding ability will combine with Trevor’s versatility to add new dimensions to our frontcourt, and both players fit in very well with the type of team-first culture that we have been working to establish.”
Lewis, acquired from Orlando in exchange for guard Gilbert Arenas in late 2010, averaged 9.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in 60 games for the Wizards.
The Wizards were 20-46 last season and have the third pick in the June 28 NBA draft.
Reporting By Steve Ginsburg; editing by Steve Keating