After three years in Charlotte, Al Jefferson has reportedly found a new home. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Jefferson has agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Indiana Pacers. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that it is unclear if the third year is fully guaranteed.
Jefferson is an interesting signing by the Pacers. Team president Larry Bird wants the Pacers to have a fast-paced offense but then hired Nate McMillian, who in the past has used a slow, methodical offense, and has now signed Jefferson, an old-school back-to-the basket post player. Also NBA.com's David Aldridge reports that the Pacers still want to re-sign Ian Mahinmi, who better fits Bird's vision, which makes the Jefferson signing even more curious.
Jefferson can play, though. Defensively he's not the greatest but offensively, he's a tactician in the post, able to exert his will through a series of fakes and deft footwork. Last season Jefferson dealt with some injuries and a suspension but he averaged 12.0 points while shooting 48.5 percent to go along with 6.4 rebounds in 23.3 minutes a game. Jefferson was an All-NBA player just two years ago.
Jefferson will likely be coming off the bench in Indiana. The Pacers already have blossoming star Myles Turner at the five but he can also play at power forward if Indiana brings back Mahinimi, who will mainly play center. A bench role could be best for Jefferson at this stage of his career. It will help reduce the wear and tear on his knees and back and Jefferson could be Indiana's main scorer off the bench if the Pacers decide to have a more slowed-down second unit. McMillan loved having a go-to post player in Portland with LaMarcus Aldridge so he surely would like having Jefferson off the bench and in certain situations.
Ultimately, the Pacers got Jefferson on a very manageable contract and if he is content coming off the bench, it could end up being a great fit.