After two seasons with the Indiana Pacers, Al Jefferson is off to play for a new team. This time, he won’t be in the NBA.
Al Jefferson was recently waived by the Pacers in order to reduce his cap hit and give the team an extra $6 million to spend in free agency. After some rumors he could re-sign a new deal with Indiana, he wound up singing somewhere entirely different.
But Jefferson is taking on a new challenge. Instead of joining another NBA team, Jefferson will take his talents elsewhere, an entirely new continent. He will play basketball next season in China, for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. Sportando reported the news early in the night:
Jefferson has probably seen the last of his NBA days. The Big Classic has a lot to be proud of from his career. He was never an All-Star, but he started off his career as an All-Rookie team member in 2005. His apex was in 2013-14 with Charlotte when he made third-team all-NBA. He averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds that season and helped Charlotte transition from the Bobcats era to the Hornets era.
For his illustrious career, Jefferson posted averages of 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds. He was a solidly above average center for about a decade and has a long list of accomplishments.
Jefferson has been to China before as a part of his basketball journey. Back in 2015, his Hornets were one of the teams that went to China as a part of the NBA’s Global Games. He played a few preseason games there and helped grow the popularity of the NBA in the country while simultaneously connecting with the people of China. Now, he gets to play all of his professional basketball there.
Al was a great guy for the locker room in Indiana, and we wish him well in this next chapter of his career. The Pacers will miss him.