Much more to follow once I get consistent internet access again this Friday, but here are my initial thoughts.
Before we even get into Emeka vs. Tyson on the court, there's something even more important to discuss. This deal provides some measure of long term stability to the Hornets, in an environment where the majority of trade options would have provided instant instability. That in itself is a huge coup.
My first reaction was that Emeka is 6'10", might have issues guarding bigger centers, and would pair with David West to give us a really small starting front court. But I immediately went back to the stability aspect. Aside from an injury ridden sophomore campaign, Okafor has registered 82, 82, 67, and 73 games played in his other four seasons. His PER's the last four years have been 18.0, 17.4, and 20.1. I won't get into rebound rates too much now (more during the comparison posts) but suffice it to say he's been consistent.
More importantly, the financial security he brings is vital. He's signed until 2013 with an option for 2014 with prices in the Tyson Chandler range (10-13 mil) each year. Guaranteeing a center of Emeka Okafor's offensive and defensive skill sets for at least four years could be invaluable in this current economic climate. Then there's also the jettisoning of risk associated with Chandler's ankle. The last thing Chris Paul and the franchise needed was the turmoil that a Tyson for Ben Wallace trade would have triggered.
I'm not going to say this is a good trade (yet), but at least it feels like this team is still on its feet. That's more than a lot of us hoped for this summer.