The Suns made Jalen Smith – the No. 10 pick in 2020 – the rare lottery pick to have his third-year rookie-scale team option declined.
In February, Phoenix traded Smith to the Pacers, who inherited a restriction on his 2022-23 salary. They couldn’t re-sign him for more than his team option would’ve paid ($4,670,160), though other teams could offer the unrestricted free agent more. Smith impressed down the stretch to the point it wasn’t certain Indiana could afford him.
But Smith re-signed with the Pacers.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype:
Sources: The Indiana Pacers signed Jalen Smith to a three-year, $15.1 million deal, which includes a player option for the 2024-25 season and a 10 percent trade kicker, @hoopshype has learned.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 7, 2022
It sounds as if Smith got the largest-allowable amount over three years:
- 2022-23: $4,670,160
- 2023-24: $5,043,773
- 2024-25: $5,417,386 (player option)
- Total: $15,131,318
And the starting power forward job.
James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star:
#Pacers coach Rick Carlisle:
“One thing that (Jalen Smith’s parents) both said about Jalen's experience with Indiana is that, 'It was great to see him smile again.'
"Indiana became a very warm place for him and his family, and he's signed on here to be our starting PF."
— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) July 6, 2022
Smith,6-foot-10, could fit well with center Myles Turner. They can both spread the floor by shooting 3-pointers and use their size defensively.
At 22, Smith must develop into the starting role. But his career is definitely on a refreshed track after the Suns basically gave up on him.