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Report: Al Jefferson agrees to three-year deal with Bobcats

Jul 4, 2013, 2:10 PM EDT

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Al Jefferson was reportedly looking for a four-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $15 million per season in free agency.

He also was said to be interested in waiting for the Dwight Howard domino to fall before choosing his destination, in case a contender became interested in retaining his services.

As it turned out, neither of those things came to fruition.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

The opt-out is the key point of the deal for Jefferson.

He reportedly spent a couple of days vetting the organization, and obviously decided that getting locked in now at a little under $14 million per season was a better idea than waiting around to see what the market would bear.

If the Bobcats continue to Bobcat, worst case scenario here is that Jefferson got two years of guaranteed money at close to his asking price. If Charlotte begins to show improvement under new head coach Steve Clifford, develops its young players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker, and freshly drafted Cody Zeller, and makes some smart front office decisions, then Jefferson can stick it out and be an integral part of the franchise’s turnaround into relevance.

Jefferson is one of the most consistent offensive players in the game, and his level of production inside, along with his size is what makes him worthy of these types of dollars. He’s averaged at least 17.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in each of the last four seasons.

Only seven other players in the game match up to those numbers, and that list is fairly impressive.

David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that the Bobcats will use the amnesty provision on Tyrus Thomas to create the room to sign Jefferson.

  1. money2long - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    al jefferson instantly becomes a hot commodity in fantasy basketball now.
    on a more serious basketball note, the soon to be hornets got themselves a quality big man. is this their best player in franchise history?

  2. anhdazman - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    This makes the Hornets better, but do you really want to get that much better this next season? It’s all about Wiggins if you’re going to be a lottery team for this next draft.

    • gbjames911 - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Is there any proof that this next draft is going to be that good. They said the same thing last year. Draft analysts said last year that it was a bad draft and this years draft would be better with Zeller, Mohammed etc. Then what happened? Zeller was slammed as a prospect, Mohammed tumbled down the boards, and guys that were thought to be easy one and done players came back. Wiggins and Parker look great now but a season of college ball could very likely kill their stock. My feelings about Zeller are this, if they would of gotten him last year, people would of said it was a good pick.

  3. jacksonkane - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Really solid move for both him and the Bobcats. Did the Bobcats overpay for him? Not by a lot, especially considering it’s only 3 years.

  4. sportsnut101 - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    U have to over pay for Sumone to come to there

    But don’t think they did nice signing by them

  5. adzs - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Seems the Cats can’t even tank properly? Was really liking the core they were building of youngsters, lining up a run at say Wiggins, Randle, Gordon etc in 2014; signing Big Al improves the team to an extent where they may struggle to be worse than the Magic, Sixers, Hawks etc; Felt really weird typing that last sentence but if i’m the Bobcats i’d have relished being a cellar dweller this year for the prospective prizes available in the next draft

    • kinggw - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      The last few seasons the Bobcats have been god awful and it didnt help them get Anthony Davis or the number one pick this season, why would this season be any different?

      Jefferson doesnt improve them that much. Instead of the being the worst team in the league, they will be the fifth or sixth worst team in the league. There is a good chance they will still be in the mix for a top 5 draft pick. The year the Bulls won the lottery and drafted Rose, they were the 9th worst team in the league. Even if they play their way out of a high lottery pick, the fans in Charlotte deserve an improved product.

  6. bellerophon30 - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    More than any other team, Charlotte needs to tank for Wiggins. That said, the fans in Charlotte are so disillusioned by…….well, all of it, that MJ at least needs to appear to be trying to win, well, something. Too bad they don’t have an FA Cup style competition in basketball to help distract the fans.

    And yes, they overpaid, but not by a ton, and Jefferson is a good character guy and a hard worker.

    • gbjames911 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      Please stop with this illusion of tanking for Wiggins. See my comment above for why. The Bobcats get a very talented offensive big man for a decent price. I like the pickup because Jefferson is the type of player that will fit in with the Bobcats.

  7. JMClarkent - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    His defense and passing will drive you insane, the key here is to keep him next to a strong defensive player (hopefully BB can develop into that guy).

  8. edwardemanuelson - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I like Big Al, but I just don’t understand why a player as talented as he is would want to waste his talents on a team that – let’s be honest here – is gonna continue to suck, regardless of the players they select in the lottery each year. It starts up top.

    • Nostrils10 - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      has to be the $$$$$ right?

      “If the Bobcats continue to Bobcat, worst case scenario here is that Jefferson got two years of guaranteed money at close to his asking price.”

      Can’t beat that…

      he could have waited, but what if he waited too long and then his offers start to drop in price? seems like we see that happen often, and maybe he is taking it on as a challenge, to show everyone how good he is… i have no idea, but i was thinkin the same exact thing!

  9. tcclark - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Al Jefferson has been on a bad Celtics team, a bad T-Wolves team, and a decent Jazz team that still wasn’t really all that good. Maybe he’s allergic to winning. I don’t get why he’d sign here.

    • money2long - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      FREE JORDANS !!!

  10. bparmalee - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I have to eat crow to the 3 Bobcat/Hornet fans here in Charlotte… I’m shocked they got him. Plus this most likely means they won’t sign Hansbrough (which is addition by avoidance). They still made a joke of the draft the past few years but this is finally a the in the right direction…. sigh. Hating isn’t easy…. but I’ll bounce back…. they did draft Zeller…. MKG over Beal and Bismack with the 7th pick. Bobcats/Hornets/eventually Sonics hater for life.

    • djp141 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      Someone may end up moving to Seattle, but it won’t be the Bobcats/Hornets.

  11. eboneseagles - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    They could get the 8th seed since 6-8 is completely wide open. 4/5 will be a good playoff matchup but the rest will be sweeps in the east.

  12. andyreidisfat - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Love this deal for two reasons. First the cats move closer to finally making the playoffs. And second, this signing makes the cats a better team than the sixers, which puts us one step closer to winning those ping pong balls

  13. freeworld - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    it was a money move for Al, he isnt really checking for ring right now that why he has a player option in two years on a three year contract. he will worry about ring in the later stage of his career.

  14. jamieaadams - Jul 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I still can’t believe they drafted Cody Zeller fourth. Tangent off.

  15. nickytfor3 - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Love this pickup. He brings to Charlotte something we haven’t had in years…a big man that can score inside…I believe he is one of the best scorers with his back to the basket.

  16. robmar924 - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    perfect fit. tanking would have put the bobcats in good position for Wiggins but based on the lottery history being worst hardly garuntees a better draft pick. Maybe being 4th worst will do the charm

  17. sscampton - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Oh my goodness why does everyone think this is such a good deal???!!!

    They just drafted Cody Zeller 4th overall….
    And then signed Al Jefferson for $41 mil….
    And they play the same damn position!!!!!!

    Is anyone else perplexed by this? How could they possibly get both of them on the floor at the same time? Both Zeller and Jefferson are too small to play a convincing 5, and even if they wanted to go small ball with Jefferson at the 5, he isn’t a run the floor kind of player. This is how marginal teams are built. Swing and miss on top draft picks then try to hammer “round peg” veterans into “square hole” systems. This is madness.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      It allows Jefferson to go back to his natural PF position. He’s only been playing C the past two teams because the T-Wolves had Love and Jazz has Milsap. In both situations he was the one that could actually slide over and play C. I like this for him.

    • tcclark - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:46 PM

      Al Jefferson is listed as 6’10 289 lbs. In what world is that too small for the 5? He’s been one of the premier CENTERS for several years now. Who are you thinking about?

  18. 13arod - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    You never know the bobcats might win more games next year

  19. cmart0907 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    We know he is clearly in it for the money signing with the bobcats out of all places. Bravo Bravo Mr. Jefferson you will never get a ring.

    • badintent - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:25 AM

      Be nice. H e gets paid AND gets to beat on Poshy Boshy 8 times this season instead of banging against Duncan, Bogurt, Howard. etc.Has smart agent.

  20. loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Good pick up by Charlotte

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