Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza won't opt out of current contracts

Jason Miller

Both players confirmed that they will play out the final year of their contracts instead of exercising early-termination clauses.

It's not exactly a surprise, but Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza have both confirmed that they'll play out the final year of their contracts rather than exercising early-termination clauses to become free agents. Michael Lee spoke to both of them and got these quotes:

"I don't know many people who are going to leave money on the table and I'm not one of the people to do that, so most likely," said Ariza.

[...]

Okafor has appeared in all but two games this season and is averaging 9.9 points and a team-best nine rebounds. He said he was "fully confident" that he would be back in a Wizards uniform next season.

"I've enjoyed my time here immensely," said Okafor, who signed a six-year, $72 million extension with Charlotte in 2008. "I think this team, we have good chemistry. Everybody gets along, we're always joking and laughing. It's a good unit."

Ariza is slated to make $7.7 million next year, while Okafor would make $14.5 million. We discussed the possibility of Okafor receiving a long-term extension to help the Wizards' cap number next year, a la Richard Jefferson and the Spurs, but that seems unlikely.

Assuming the two players follow through on their word, the Wizards will have $57 million in committed salary, placing them right up against the likely salary-cap figure.

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