I am extremely excited that we have resigned Okafor for 6 years. I think this will be thought of as a huge positive move in the frachise's history when looked back upon in 10 years.
A couple of random thoughts...
1 ) People constantly question the Bobcats (and MJ) as negotiators. This is a huge win for the Bobcats' front office. The same deal was turned down 1 year ago with Okafor trying to get more money. The front office held out and played their cards perfectly. They lowballed Okafor with $10 million per to reset the market. Even with the complexity of guys like Bogut being overpaid for and, as Bonnell correctly puts it, "comps" showing Okafor is worth more, the FO negotiates him "up" to their original offer. Higgins kept a very level head thoughout. Very good indeed. This should not be missed.
2 ) Previous to today, many people said that if Okafor was resigned, then we would know that basketball minds like Larry Brown and MJ were in charge and that if he signed the RFA offer sheet and walked or was traded that Bob Johnson was in charge (and cheap). The Bobcats have been labeled in the past as cheap but things like the Richardson trade and retaining guys like Wallace and Okafor to long-term deals absolutely are examples of the opposite. At the end of the day, Larry Brown knew he needed a player like Okafor to truly be successful. That leads me to my next point.
3 ) Obviously, after a $12 million per year investment, Okafor will be a cornerstone to our franchise for at least the next 5 or 6 years. Lots of folks are talking about Okafor "earning" his money now and that he needes to step it up. While I don't disagree with the sentiment, who in the hell was he supposed to learn from in the past? He has had no good veteran big men to mentor from. He has had no great big man coaches to learn from and god knows that his head coaching has been lacking (especially, ESPECIALLY last year). Now he has Larry Brown. Larry Brown has supposedly already greatly improved Hollins footwork, just in summer league. Think of what he could do with Okafor. I think of what Ben Wallace was to the Pistons championship team. Okafor could be way better. With Larry Brown plans, he will probably need a "Wallace" and Okafor is more than suited to fit the bill. Think Ben Wallace with twice as many points. I love the possibilities.
If I didn't mention it, I am stoked about Okafor and the team's overall direction. GO BOBCATS!!!!!!!!