The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired forward Rashard Lewis and the 46th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft from the Washington Wizards in exchange for forward Trevor Ariza and center Emeka Okafor.
“First, we want to thank Emeka and Trevor for their service on and off the court for our organization. Both of those gentlemen are good players and better people that will be missed,” said Hornets general manager Dell Demps. “We are rebuilding our team and this is one step in our new direction. This trade will provide an opportunity for our young players to develop and create flexibility to add to our core group moving forward.”
Lewis (6-10, 230), a two-time NBA All-Star will enter his 14th season in the NBA after averaging 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 28 games last season (15 starts). He scored double digit points nine times before suffering a left knee bone bruise which ended his 2011-12 campaign before the All-Star break.
The 32-year-old veteran holds career averages of 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game over 934 games (827 starts). During the 2006-07 season, the best of his 13 year career, Lewis averaged 22.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while starting 60 games for the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder).
Lewis was drafted by Seattle as the 32nd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, spending nine seasons with the Sonics before playing three seasons for the Orlando Magic, where he helped the franchise represent the Eastern Conference in the 2009 NBA Finals. Most recently, Lewis was traded to Washington by Orlando in exchange for Gilbert Arenas on December 18, 2010.
Ariza started all 116 games he played for the Hornets, averaging 10.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during his two year stint in New Orleans. The NBA champ has career averages of 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 499 games (239 starts) over 12 years in the NBA.
Okafor played three years in New Orleans averaging 10.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in 181 games (all starts). For his career, Okafor has averaged 12.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in 511 games (507 starts).
“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,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “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.”