The Bobcats have actually done very well the last few trades they have pulled off, with each improving the team in one way or another. Although Tyson Chandler was hurt and Okafor was a bigger factor for the Hornets, it's now clear that the Bobcats got the better of the deal.
I know John Hollinger and the staff at ESPN absolutely hated this trade on our behalf, even going on record as saying they can't believe anybody would trade Okafor for Chandler. They always kept talking about how much of an upgrade Okafor was over Chandler. Excited that the Bobcats were "finally getting rid of the mediocrity", I was actually ecstatic about the trade. Not that Emeka Okafor was a bad guy or anything. I'm sure the rest of the people in Charlotte, like myself, came to know Okafor as being a class act role model. The only thing was his lack of passion for the game. Despite averaging double-doubles, you could always see it. Once coach Larry Brown began taunting him about his yoga at the conclusion of the previous season, I was preparing myself to move on without our first draft pick ever. Surprisingly, it was very easy for me to let go emotionally when the day finally came that he was gone.
Chandler: 51 G, 6.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Okafor: 82 G, 10.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg
Although Okafor did as I expected and had the better year of the two, I always looked at it as a financial move. Clearly, we had overpaid for Okafor and were going to be in a knot financially for years to come having him on board. He was coming off the first year of a 6 year extension we signed him to, and Chandler only had 1 more left plus a player option. Now, a year later, here we are. Emeka Okafor has one of the most untradeable contracts in the NBA and Charlotte just flipped Tyson Chandler into the NBA's most wanted contract (Erick Dampier) and two role players who even though are overpaid, fill two much needed voids for the Bobcats, a three point specialist (Matt Carrol) and a back up PF who hustles his ass off every night (Eduardo Najera).
The Bobcats may even be able to turn Dampier's contract into Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor. Now if the Bobcat's front office can pull that off, I would look at them like absolute geniuses. Missing Chandler for a good part of the year's impact was only minimal. With him healthy or not, we were not a championship caliber team with Raymond Felton and Boris Diaw out there running around. Now, we are position to make that jump to being a good team to a great team. GOD BLESS MICHAEL JORDAN!!!!