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Chris Copeland leaving Knicks, headed to Pacers in two year deal

Jul 6, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Chris Copeland AP

Chris Copeland played his way out of New York.

The Knicks 29-year-old rookie who had worked so hard to get to the NBA brought size, shooting and energy when he got on the court and averaged 8.7 points a game and shot 42.1 percent from three in the regular season. Against the Pacers in the second round of the playoffs he was one Knick who seemed to be able to help them score against Indy’s defense, but it was like the Knicks coaching staff didn’t know what they had and limited his minutes until the final couple games.

Well, the Pacers noticed. They have reached an agreement on a two-year, $6.1 million deal to bring Copeland on board, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

While Copeland is a restricted free agent, as a team above the tax apron (more than $76 million in salary) the Knicks couldn’t match any offer over $3 million a year, it is not allowed under the new CBA rules. The Knicks had expected a team would do this but they filled their shooting forward spot with Andrea Bargnani (at a much higher price).

There had been interest here  because Copeland is a great fit off the bench for Indiana — he brings size (6’9”) but he can stretch the floor and still play some defense.

Indiana had a fantastic starting five last season but there was a steep drop off when you went to their bench. So far this summer they have upgraded at the point with C.J. Watson and now added Copeland. Oh, and they get Danny Granger back from injury.

The Pacers are going to be better next season. And they already took the Heat to seven games.

  1. ss3walkman - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    He was a waited talent in New York

    • nycalldayz - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      The 2013 free-agent pool talent is so medium I guess Copeland was the best Indy could do.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Larry Bird is back running the Pacers again.

        First, there are not 15 LeBron James out there for teams to have and one team couldn’t afford 15 LeBron James on their team even if there were that many out there.

        A team has 15 roster spots. The Pacers are good and Copeland is not being brought on to start. He will be a role player.

        Tyler Hansbrough played the 7th most min’s for the Pacers last year. Copeland’s numbers are better across the board than Hansbrough’s.

        The Pacers had an offer out for Hansbrough for over $4 million and then they pulled it and he will be gone now.

        Copeland will only cost them a tad over $3 million and he’ll produce better for a lesser amount.

        Bird improved their roster by getting a player in who will produce better and for a lesser amount than the man he replaced.

        Bird wasn’t trying to replace Hill or West etc…

        It was a great move by the Pacers.

  2. nycalldayz - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Not surprise he would leave NYK especially if they offered more money. I don’t blame him. But I’m not sold on him. There’s a reason why he was in the league for a majority of 20’s. Watching him play this season I think he’s a terrible ball-handler and horrid defender. I don’t think he helps Indy’s bench depth, but I could be wrong.

    • nycalldayz - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Not surprise he would leave NYK especially if they offered more money. I don’t blame him. But I’m not sold on him. There’s a reason why he was not in the league for the of his majority of 20′s. Watching him play this season I think he’s a terrible ball-handler and horrid defender. I don’t think he helps Indy’s bench depth, but I could be wrong.

      • cmehustle - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        You should get double thumbs down for replying to your own comment with the same comment. Is this your first time at PBT??

  3. odenxx - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    As a Knicks fan I hate to see hem go .i feel we would have won Indiana if Woodson would have just put him in for more mismatches .but playing as a knick hides flaws he has(Jeremy Lin).i think they will expose hem now.

    • limonadamas - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      How does “playing as a knick hide flaws,” exactly? that makes zero sense.

      if anything, playing on the knicks magnifies flaws because of how much exposure you get from the media (e.g. Amare, Kidd, even guys like Starks back in the day).

    • bukes111 - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      It’s not NY that hides flaws, Lin just had the perfect skill set for D’antoni’s system.. His weaknesses were showing the more games he played. Bujt your analysis that NY covered up his flaws is ridiculous. Copeland has some unique skills and can contribute 10 mins a game. It’s only a 2 yr $6mm contract.

  4. eboneseagles - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Nbd, easily replaceable. Just another knicks “star” that’ll show his true colors on another team. (Lin, Fields, Shawne Williams all got big deals after one good knicks year and sucked since).

    • professoressadiesel - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      When did 3 Mil a year become a “big” deal?

    • bukes111 - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      …Or a reserve like David Lee or Nate Robinson. Not saying Copeland is going to be a star but he’ll contribute some mins to Indy and it’s only 2 years. Just some weird comments on this board on how it’s easy to become a star reserve in NY.

  5. qpoiu1 - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    the pacers are quietly becoming more and more dangerous…

    • brokerhenry - Jul 7, 2013 at 6:06 AM

      @qpoiu: I thought the same thing and then saw your comment. And not only are they quietly becoming lethal, they are big over there. The question I have is what were my team the Miami Heat doing when they gave Joel Anthony his contract? Joel is a great guy, but at 6’9″, he is no center. Joel could not be used once the playoffs started. The man is the size of a power forward, but lacks Udonis’ skills. Have you ever seeing Joel take a jump shot? I have never seen him trying to shoot from longer than two feet from the basket. How is it that teams around the league have bigs but we are filled with skinny midgets?!?! What if the Bird Man leaves?!?! Then what?!?!?! I just hated seeing Bosh get abused by Hibbert and Duncan. God bless him, but Bosh won’t do at center. I have no answers!!!

    • redbaronx - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      @qpoiu1 – Short but great comment. Indiana is quietly picking up good strong pieces the way San Antonio does and you have to admire the homework they did. It’s a cheap pickup that allows them to throw another big body with energy to wear down opponents. Plus this is another guy that can bother LeBron. Too many teams have fallen for the small ball methodology in the recent NBA because of the lack of good size, but it’s proven that QUALITY size is a good foundation for winning a banner if you surround them with scoring talent. If Miami doesn’t get bigger this season, I think Indiana (with Danny Granger back) is going to be in position to have a good chance to beat Miami. Especially if Wade isn’t back to form next season.

      • brokerhenry - Jul 7, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        @redbaronx: Dude!!! Stop scaring Heat fans!!!! I am on my knees praying D-Wades heads to that knee-god dude in Germany. I am hoping and praying that some big man out there who can still play and wants rings will consider Miami. Hello Samuel Dalembert?!?! I hope Greg Oden goes to Miami and can actually play healthy. Just give us 15 minutes per game Greg!!! Let’s go Heat!!!!

      • redbaronx - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        @brokerhenry – I didn’t realize I was “scaring” Heat fans before. But that’s the reality.

        If you want something to make you feel comfortable, I’ll say that I think Riley knows he doesn’t need a high priced center. Miami can get a lot stronger with a couple of smart moves, which should scare the rest of the NBA.

        Miami can probably get better by subtraction. Trading Chris Bosh might be on option to receive a defensive minded/rebounding center and or power forward. One option might be for LaMarcus Aldridge and signing Greg Oden might be a good gamble if all you’re expecting is defense.

        Miami definitely has options. Lets see if Riley will “stand pat” or make some moves to improve.

  6. metalhead65 - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    this a nice signing by the pacers. they did not over pay and he won’t be asked to be a star just do what he does best coming off the bench for them. teams will not be able to relax like they did last year when the bench guys come in. combine him with Granger if he is healthy along with a decent point guard in watson and the bench has improved immensely since last season.

    • iritian - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Dont forget they also added CJ Watson. Now we won’t have to see DJ Agustine fumble with the ball eveytime GHill is on the bench.

    • redbaronx - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      @metalhead + iritian – I agree with your comments. CJ Watson and Chris Copeland are two great pickups. With Danny Granger back the Pacers are going to be a very dangerous 1st unit team with a much improved bench.

      The Heat barely handled Indiana this year. I’m very excited to see what a healthy Indiana can do next year. I’m a Wizards fan (by geographic default) but I love good basketball and love teams like the Spurs and Indiana that build teams through SMARTS. I wish the Wizards were half as smart about their moves.

  7. vilelabyrinth - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    As a knicks’ fan..I hate to see him leave, but to go to the pacers….wtf? I just wish the knicks used this kid more..he sure can, “Score the ball.”

  8. sportsfan18 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Good move Pacers. There aren’t 15 LeBron James’s out there for each team to have and they couldn’t afford them all if there were.

    It’s about getting better at each roster spot on your team.

    This man won’t be counted on to start and play 36 min’s a game. He will have a role to play and based on his performance last year, he’ll help the Pacers by doing just what he did last year. If he is the 7th or 8th player on the team, he’s better than who they had in that role last year. Tyler Hansbrough played the 7th most min’s on the Pacers last year and Ian Mahinmi played the 8th most min’s last year for them.

    Copeland’s numbers were much better across the board than either of these two players.

    The Pacers pulled Hansbrough’s $4 plus million dollar contract. Well, Copeland will be making less than $4 million plus for them next year and he’ll play better and bring more to the team than Tyler did.

    That’s what I mean about getting better at each position on the team. Their acquisition of Copeland improved them as he’ll play better and produce better for less money than the man they had in his role last year.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention I’m glad Larry Bird is back and to give him credit for improving the Pacers team by upgrading the 7th/8th man on the roster while paying less for the improved production.

      Glad you’re back Mr. Bird.

  9. tsettle44 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Yeah I think the pacers will have a much better team than last year, no one left really besides Tyler. The starting five will more than likely be West, Hibbert, George, Hill, and then a toss up between Granger and Stephenson. Which either one will be strong off the bench, and hopefully C.J Watson, Copeland, and Mahimi could get strong minutes and maybe even the first round pick Soloman Hill could be a factor off the bench.

  10. sportsnut101 - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Cj Watson lmao he barely does anything he’s gone downhill since days as warrior

  11. genericcommenter - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    I read the story about all the work he had to do to make it to the NBA, and it was a pretty good one. He wasn’t in the NBA for much of his 20s (as someone up there mentioned) because he was not an NBA-level talent coming out of college. He had to play in some very minor leagues in Europe and work on his game. He did something not that many do in any field, and that is make significant improvements as an adult and really elevate his talent level.

  12. pacersfan1 - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Now if the pacers could trade chuckum green that would be great. Shame on Mr. Walsh for signing his sorry butt in the first place.

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