Report: Jeremy Lamb, Pacers Agree on $31.M Contract After Malcolm Brogdon Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2019

Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

Swingman Jeremy Lamb must have caught the Indiana Pacers' eye during his career-best scoring season in 2018-19 because they agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the seven-year veteran Sunday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.  

Lamb spent the last four seasons with the Charlotte Hornets but entered the league in 2012 as the No. 12 overall pick of the Houston Rockets. Before he even played for the team that drafted him, Houston then traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the infamous deal that brought James Harden to the Rockets.

The trade clearly didn't work out for the Thunder considering Harden elevated himself to league MVP and became one of the best offensive players of his generation. What's more, Lamb never posted more than 8.5 points per night in any of his three seasons with OKC.

Charlotte traded for him before the 2015-16 campaign and then signed him to a three-year contract extension.

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He delivered in a bigger offensive role when no longer playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant and set a career high in scoring in each of his four seasons with the Hornets. He improved from 8.8 points per game in 2015-16 to 9.7 in 2016-17 to 12.9 in 2017-18 to 15.3 in 2018-19.

Lamb also posted a career-best 5.5 rebounds per game last season and showed a willingness to battle on the glass from the backcourt.

While he is just 27 years old and has demonstrated constant improvement as a wing scorer, Lamb's new team surely wants to see him bolster his three-point shooting after a drop from 37.0 percent in 2017-18 to 34.8 percent last season. If he can do that, he could take advantage of the openings created alongside Pacers guard Victor Oladipo.

Lamb is also a versatile defender who is quick enough to stick with ball-handlers and tall enough (6'5") to challenge outside shots. Charlotte's defensive rating was 108.9 when he was on the court and dropped to 111.5 when he was off it last season, per NBA.com.

The Connecticut product won't be the flashiest signing this offseason, but he is a valuable role player who has demonstrated potential as an offensive playmaker and defender.

It was also the second major splash for Indiana on Sunday after it added Malcolm Brogdon on a sign-and-trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The guard is another excellent two-way player who fits in with the team's style and adds another offensive threat.

After ranking 22nd in the NBA in points per game last year, the Pacers now have two more difference makers on offense they can count on regardless of Oladipo's health.

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