Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Chris Copeland has agreed to a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers, ending his brief, yet positive and entertaining tenure with the New York Knicks.
His agent, John Spencer, texted the above picture to SNY.tv and other outlets and confirmed Copeland’s deal is worth $6.1 million, as reported by Yahoo! Sports.
The Pacers wanted a third-year team option on the contract, but Spencer said Copeland did not agree to it.
After adding Andrea Bargnani via trade and re-signing J.R. Smith for four years, the Knicks effectively opted to re-sign point guard Pablo Prigioni for two years over Copeland. The Knicks reportedly spent $1.5 million of their mini mid-level on Prigioni, leaving $1.75 million for Copeland.
“I think they did the best job showing him that they really wanted him,” Spencer said of the Pacers, adding that Memphis, Denver, Cleveland, Utah, New Orleans, and the Lakers were also involved.
“Some other teams expressed a lot of interest, but Indiana came out and did a great multimedia-marketing job with some of the things they sent during free agency. They sent a wonderful marketing pitch that really blew everybody away. They spent a lot of time paying attention to detail on who Chris was as a person and not just a player.
“It just blew Chris way.” Copeland, 29, averaged 8.7 points and 2.1 rebounds last season as the Knicks lost to the Pacers in a six-game, second-round series.
Copeland, an Orange, N.J., native will now join an up-and-coming Pacers team that gets Danny Granger back from injury to a core that includes Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill and Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson.
The Knicks are expected to pursue an interior defender/rebounder and have reached out to Peeskill, N.Y., native Elton Brand.
The Knicks also have N.C. State product C.J. Leslie and Kentucky product Eloy Vargas on their Las Vegas summer league entry.
According to Nation of Blue.com, the 6-11 Vargas had been playing in the Santo Domingo League in the Dominican Republic, averaging 19.4 points and 13.4 rebounds with San Lazaro. He was also Rookie of the Year and first team all tournament in the Districto Nacional League.
“Eloy is looking to showcase his stuff for the Knicks, but also for the other 29 teams in the NBA and everyone else internationally,” his agent Glenn Schwartzman told the site before confirming the signing to SNY.tv. “Not only is he healthy, but he is back playing at a high level and it will be a good opportunity for him.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.