After Suns declined his third-year option, Jalen Smith re-signs with Pacers

Indiana Pacers big Jalen Smith
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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:

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:

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.