The Indiana Pacers have been very busy this offseason. Team president Larry Bird is trying to improve the roster so they can make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs. According to Sports Illustrated, Al Jefferson and the Pacers have come to a verbal agreement. The veteran center decided to bring his talents to Indiana, and he agreed to a three-year deal worth $30 million.
Al Jefferson is one of the better centers in the NBA and is an offensive low post threat. Jefferson has spent the last three seasons with the Charlotte Hornets and has been in the league for 12 years now.
The Indiana Pacers signed Al Jefferson to a very team-friendly contract. This would come as a shocker to some because the Los Angeles Lakers signed Timofey Mozgov to a four-year deal worth $64 million. Jefferson is a proven center, while Mozgov has not been able to prove much. He was benched last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.Al Jefferson's decision to sign with the Indiana Pacers comes as a shock to some because after the regular season ended, he said that he wanted to stay with the Charlotte Hornets. He was willing to take a pay cut to stay with the team, but the Hornets decided to put their full attention to signing Nicolas Batum.
Larry Bird is being very aggressive this offseason. He traded away George Hill to the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team trade. The Indiana Pacers received Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks. Teague, who is on a very reasonable contract, played a big part for the Hawks the past several seasons.
The Indiana Pacers also traded for Thaddeus Young. The acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a first round pick. Young is only 28-years-old and is in the prime of his career. Thaddeus can play both the forward positions and can stretch out the floor.
The addition of Al Jefferson might signal the departure of Ian Mahinmi, who did an incredible job filling in at the center position last season. One reason why the Indiana Pacers decided to sign Jefferson instead of Mahinmi was because Jefferson has experience and is a proven star.
Larry Bird is surrounding Paul George with some experienced players. The Indiana Pacers added Monta Ellis last summer. They are hoping that Ellis can return to form next season. The Pacers are hoping that his drop in scoring was an anomaly.
Al Jefferson might be best suited coming off the bench. He would be the go-to scorer on the second unit. Jefferson has been known for scoring ability in the low post. He is coming off a down season. Jefferson averaged 12 points and 6.4 rebounds last year.
Larry Bird is doing his best to improve his roster this summer. The moves he has made this offseason have been good additions. Bird and the Indiana Pacers got a steal in the deal with Al Jefferson. He could have easily commanded much more than $10 million a year. It will be interesting to see if Jefferson can return to form.
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