Pacers introduce new frontcourt, including Young, Jefferson
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers introduced Al Jefferson, Thaddeus Young and Jeremy Evans on Friday, with the hope that the revamped frontcourt can help push the team closer to the top of the NBA's Eastern Conference.
''We feel that we added some players that we think are going to help us contend for the East,'' Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said.
Indiana acquired Young in a draft night trade with Brooklyn, while Jefferson signed a three-year, $30 million deal earlier this week.
The 28-year-old Young, entering his 10th season in the league, averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game last season.
The 31-year-old Jefferson averaged 12 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season for Charlotte, but missed a large chunk of time because of a midseason knee injury.
''I've got the injury thing taken care of now,'' Jefferson said. ''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.''
Evans, who won the 2012 NBA slam dunk competition, was traded to Indiana from Dallas. He didn't play much in his only season with the Mavericks, averaging 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 30 games. He played his first five seasons in Utah.
The Pacers will also have a new point guard next season. They acquired Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade that sent George Hill to the Utah Jazz.
The new players will join holdovers Paul George, Myles Turner and Monta Ellis in an effort to improve on last season's 45-37 record. The Pacers were the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and lost to Toronto in the first round.
''I think this roster allows us, with the versatility we have, to establish the tempo that we want to play,'' Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. ''We definitely should be able to play fast, and then with the addition of Al Jefferson, you can play in a halfcourt offense.''