NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 06: Emeka Okafor #50 of the New Orleans Hornets dunks the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the New Orleans Arena on January 6, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The Washington Wizards made the first splash of the upcoming NBA offseason Wednesday, trading injury-prone forward Rashard Lewis and a second-round selection (No. 46) in next week's NBA Draft to the New Orleans Hornets for power forward/center Emeka Okafor and forward Trevor Ariza.
Lewis, acquired from the Orlanda Magic in December 2010, only appeared in 60 games for the Wizards due to various ailments, but was the highest-paid player on the roster last season at just over $21 million. Lewis was under contract for one more season; he signed a six-year contract worth $118 million with the Magic in 2007.
For Lewis and the draft pick, Washington will receive Okafor, a veteran big man in the same vein as Nene, and Ariza, a solid swingman who can bolster the backcourt.
With the Hornets set to take Kentucky forward Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick next week, Okafor and Ariza were expendable.