Report: Pacers looking to absorb contracts, offering Al Jefferson in trades
The Indiana Pacers have been aggressive offering their salary cap space for teams looking to unload big contracts, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The offer comes with a catch, though, as the team is looking to yield a first-round pick in return for their troubles and have offered center Al Jefferson in return.
Teams like the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks have been dying to rid themselves of massive contractual mistakes they’ve made in the past and the Pacers could be their solution. Though they would have to be willing to part with a first-round selection before clearing the books.
The Hornets have put basically everyone in the starting lineup on the block while the Knicks have been tirelessly looking to move the estranged Joakim Noah after he took a leave for “personal reasons” after a fallout with coach Jeff Hornacek.
Jefferson is owed $9.8 million this season and another $10 million in the next, which allows for some flexibility in any trade, but teams will have to toe the line carefully and evaluate just how much their first-round selection is worth before taking on the big man’s contract and shedding their own.
Jefferson has seen some playing time in the last couple of games (a combined 30 minutes), likely putting him on display for teams to see he can still play despite this being his 14th season in the league. Averages of 6.7 points and 3.9 rebounds won’t do much for a team, but his role will likely be centered around mentorship rather than filling in minute gaps for any team.