Pacers officially sign center Jefferson - Metro US

Pacers officially sign center Jefferson

Apr 23, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward center Al Jefferson (25) looks to drive to the basket as he is defended by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second half in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena. Hornets win 96-80. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – The Indiana Pacers officially signed veteran free agent center Al Jefferson to a multi-year contract on Saturday.

No terms were announced by the team but the deal is worth a reported $30.5 million over three years.

The 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jefferson spent the last three seasons of his 12-year NBA career with Charlotte.

Jefferson, who was drafted by Boston in 2004 (first round, 15th overall) out of Prentiss (Mississippi) High School, played three seasons with the Celtics before being traded to Minnesota.

He spent three years there before being traded to Utah, where he played three seasons. He then signed as a free agent with Charlotte in 2013.

“We want to welcome Al to the Indiana Pacers,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in a statement. “Al is a good, solid, veteran player. We know what he brings to our team, scoring, rebounding and he’s a handful down in the post.

“Not only do we think he’ll help us a lot on the court, we think he will be a good mentor for Myles Turner. He’s a proven player in this league and we are very confident he will help us in many ways.”

The 31-year-old Jefferson has career averages of 16.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He averaged a career best of 23.1 in points in 2008-09 and a career best 11.1 rebounds in 2007-08. In 2014, he was a third team All-NBA selection.

Jefferson averaged 12 points and 6.4 rebounds in 47 games last season for the Hornets, dealing with a midseason injury to his right knee.

“I’ve got the injury thing taken care of now,” Jefferson said Friday at the introductory press conference. “Once I’m 100 percent I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind, or anyone else’s mind, of what I can do on the court.”

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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