Emeka Okafor last played in an NBA game in 2013 for the Wizards. Ever since he's been battling a neck injury that has sidelined him for the majority of that time. He's been healthy for the last couple seasons, but he's been using the off time to work out and get himself in shape for an eventual comeback attempt.
It appears that this summer will be Okafor's attempt at getting back into the NBA. According to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press, Okafor has been cleared to play health-wise and is ready to try to return to the league. However, he will be 35 at the start of next season.
Emeka Okafor has been cleared to return to action, is working out and is determined to return to the NBA, I'm told. 1/— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 30, 2017
Okafor last played in 2012-13 with Washington, but was sidelined by a herniated disc in his neck. But he's been working out and is ready 2/— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 30, 2017
When Okafor was still playing, he was an incredible rebounder and one of the NBA's better rim protecting bigs. He may have been 30 at the time of his injury, but Okafor was still one of the better defensive bigs the last time he played. While age and time away from the NBA are a concern, there's a large body of work that says Okafor is a good NBA player.
The biggest concern with Okafor is how much time he's spent away from the league. The NBA has changed a lot since 2013 and he'll need to adjust to that as well as just getting used to NBA speed again. Add on his age and most teams are going to pick other bigs over him. However, for the vets minimum on a team willing to take a risk? Why not take a shot.