Despite a rash of young forwards on the roster, newly acquired Emeka Okafor fully expects to be the Wizards' starting power forward at the begining of next season.
Okafor made that clear at his and Trevor Ariza's introductory news conference Friday at Verizon Center.
"I assume we would come in right away and start," Okafor said.
The 6'-10" Okafor has averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds in his eight-year career and is set to make 13 million dollars next season, so it's hard to argue with him that he wouldn't be a starter.
Okafor only played in 27 games last season because of a left knee injury, but insisted he will be 100 percent when training camp rolls around in October.
The 30-year old Okafor also knows he was brought to D.C. to provide leadership in a youthful locker room. The Wizards struggled to a 20-46 record a season ago.
"They want us to take a veteran role and provide leadership," Okafor said. "Just bring a sense of professionalism and show the young guys how to work and how to conduct themselves."
Okafor and the small forward Ariza came over from New Orleans in a trade this past week for Rashard Lewis and the Wizards' 46th pick in the NBA draft.
New Orleans tumbled to a 21-45 record after dealing away all-star point guard Chris Paul.
"When I found out I was coming here I was happy," Okafor said.