Sam Amick
Sunday December 11th, 2011

Free agent forward David West has agreed to sign a two-year deal with Indiana worth $20 million, according to his agent.

"David is ready to help them win a championship," his agent, Lance Young, told SI.com.

The former New Orleans forward was reportedly close to joining the Celtics via a sign-and-trade with the Hornets, but the deal fell apart and the Pacers were quick to grab the nine-year veteran and two-time All-Star who has averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in his career. West entered free agency as a bit of an enigma, a high-profile talent with major question marks surrounding him because of the unfortunate way he finished last season.

The 31-year-old had surgery in April to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, then spent six months rehabilitating before he was cleared to play in late October. He was in fine form until getting hurt last season, averaging 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting at a 50.8 percent clip -- the second highest of his career.

Indiana was just 37-45 last season, but it sneaked into the playoffs and had a strong showing against Chicago in the first round. While the Pacers lost in five games, three of their four losses were by six points or less and the core showed serious promise.

With point guard Darren Collison running the floor, small forward Danny Granger handling the scoring load, young big man Tyler Hansbrough playing a vital role and center Roy Hibbert pushing for the Most Improved Player award at times during the regular season, their young core is among the best in the league. After firing coach Jim O'Brien last season, the Pacers won 10 of their last 15 regular season games under coach Frank Vogel before they re-signed him over the summer and added former Lakers assistant Brian Shaw as his lead assistant.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.