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.