Al Jefferson is the latest free agent to sign with a team as he agreed to the three-year contract with the Indiana Pacers worth $30 million.
The 31-year old center out of Monticello, Mississippi will part of the Pacer’s rebuilding efforts with the inclusion of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young.
Sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical that it is not immediately clear if the deal includes a full guarantee on salary on the third year. Nonetheless, his presence inside the paint for the Pacers will definitely help loosen a bit the defense on their ace scorer Paul George.
Jefferson last played for the Charlotte Hornets where he averaged 12.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. Ineffective as many would see, but Jefferson is making sure that his minutes inside the paint counts.
In their playoff series with the Miami Heat, Jefferson averaged 11.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 0.4 blocks per game. Despite losing the series with a 4-3 count to the Heat, Jefferson, and the Hornets managed to test and stretched the Heat, giving them a run for their money.
Though he might not be as agile as before, his 12-year experience and presence inside the paint can still be effective when his team would need him the most. Jefferson’s craftiness inside the shaded area might be considered unorthodox, but is always effective and could bring back youngsters back to school.
Jefferson was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics during the 2004 NBA Draft and played with the team until the 2007 season. From the Celtics, Jefferson would be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves before the start of the 2008 NBA season.
After the Timberwolves stint, Jefferson would play for the Utah Jazz before heading on to the Hornets.
Injuries played a major setback for Jefferson as it would lessen his effectiveness in playing down the shaded area. Now that he is playing for the Pacers, Jefferson aims to rekindle his role as a key player who could size up opponents inside the paint. He might be as fast as he was before, but he can sure bring new offensive dimension to the Pacers.
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