Straight from the “No Kidding” department comes the official word that Jarrett Jack is now a Toronto Raptor. Mike Wells spoke to Jack earlier this evening and he confirmed that the Pacers won’t be matching the four-year/$20 million offer sheet he signed with Toronto.
“It took a minute, but I was able to secure a contract for four years,” Jack said in a phone interview Sunday night. “I’m looking forward to playing with Chris [Bosh] again. It will be like our freshman year [at Georgia Tech] all over again.”
So at least that’s one item to check off the list as we enter “the storm” of activity that Indy Cornrows has termed the week ahead in Pacerland, which will include the loss of Jack, the possible sign-and-trade of Marquis Daniels to Boston and the official introduction of Earl Watson.
For Jarrett’s part, he did enjoy his time as a Pacer and, in his comments to Wells, sounded very glad to have benefited from the opportunity that Jim O’Brien’s offensive system gave him to showcase his talents and the minutes that Indiana’s back court talent deficiency allowed him to play. (The second part is my assessment, not Jarrett’s.)
“I’m indebted to coach O’Brien for what he did for me last season. Not only him, but also [team president] Larry Bird and [general manager] David Morway. They put me in the position to play well and get a long-term contract. I’ll always be indebted to them.”
In the end, however, Jarrett isn’t worth $5 million a year — at least not to a Pacer team that still has Tinsley’s devastating deal on the books, will be paying Mike Dunleavy to rehab his knee for at least another six months, and is significantly overpaying for the production of both Troy Murphy and TJ Ford. I really liked the fearlessness and aggressive penetration Jack showed so consistently last season, but Bird was right to let him walk for that price. It would have been great to keep Jarrett around at something like three years/$12 million, but he played his way into a better offer from Toronto and no Pacer fan should fault him for that.
So thanks for the memories, Jarrett, and good luck in Toronto.
Bring a warm coat.
UPDATE: Cornrows has some kind words for the departing combo guard.
Jack should always be remembered for doing his part to lay the foundation for any future success the Pacers enjoy. He arrived amidst a rebuilding job by Larry Bird after a big chunk of demo was completed last summer. In his one season, Jack did plenty to help move the team back in the right direction in their attempts to change the culture inside the Fieldhouse and the team’s perception outside the Fieldhouse.
Jarrett Jack is waving goodbye to Indianapolis and saying hello to the T-Dot.