NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Hornets traded forward Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday for forward Rashard Lewis and a second-round draft pick.
Lewis is entering the last season of a $118 million, six-year contract and could be a candidate for the NBA's amnesty clause, meaning he may not end up playing for the Hornets if New Orleans chooses to cut him loose in order to clear space under the salary cap.
"We are rebuilding and this is one step in our new direction," Hornets General Manager Dell Demps said.
The Hornets, who are expected to take Kentucky star Anthony Davis with the top overall draft pick and also have the 10th selection, did not have a second-round pick before the trade. Washington, meanwhile, has the third overall pick and still has the second pick of the second round.
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Okafor has never lived up to being the second pick in the 2004 draft, but has averaged double figures in points (12.7) and rebounds (10.1) during his career.
Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said Ariza and Wizards point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft out of Kentucky, played together in a pickup game Wednesday.
"We think we're a better team today than we were yesterday," Grunfeld said.
Bobcats welcome Dunlap
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats formally introduced Mike Dunlap as the fifth coach in the franchise's eight-year history on Wednesday, and immediately began talking about changing the franchise's culture of losing. The Bobcats finished 7-59 last season for the worst winning percentage in NBA history, and chose not to renew the contract of Paul Silas after the season ended.
"After going through the process, we really felt strongly that this is the right guy to take us into the future," president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said.
Dunlap, 54, spent last season as an assistant at St. John's and ran the program while Coach Steve Lavin battled prostate cancer.
As part of developing a new culture, the Bobcats unveiled new uniforms with a change in color scheme. Navy blue will now be the dominant color, light blue will be the secondary color, and orange will be minimized.