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Bruce Brown Makes a Colorful Leap: Pacers Secure Dynamic Sixth Man with $45 Million Pact

Bruce Brown Makes a Colorful Leap: Pacers Secure Dynamic Sixth Man with $45 Million Pact

Bruce Brown, a former sixth man for the Denver Nuggets, signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Pacers on Friday, a league source confirmed to The Denver Post. At only $7.8 million a year, Denver could only offer him about a third of the deal.

Approximately 30 minutes after teams were permitted to speak with free agents Bruce Brown Jr. and the Pacers reached an agreement on a two-year, $45 million contract on Friday, a source with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. The source, who wished to remain anonymous because the agreement has not been made public, claimed the deal includes a team option for 2024–2025. General manager Chad Buchanan admitted last week that “we were very aggressive in pursuing a trade.” “About six guys matched our schedule and style of play. Sadly, these were not accessible. We started looking at other potential chances, which may have given us four or five additional victories the following year but also limited us in the long run.

They took advantage of the league regulations that forced NBA champion Denver, a crucial part of their championship drive, to renegotiate Brown’s contract to cash in on their salary-cap position. Brown wasn’t going away because the Nuggets wanted him so desperately, coach Mike Malone told the crowd during the city’s recent championship parade.

Bruce Brown Takes a Massive Leap From Mile High to Pacer Stride

With Brown’s departure, the Nuggets lost the player who had been the most valuable reserve during their championship run. And it’s anticipated that the Nuggets will rely on the advancement of second-year forwards Christian Braun and Peyton Watson to take his place. There is also great hope for point guards Collin Gillespie and freshman Jalen Pickett’s future contributions.

Brown couldn’t turn down the sizeable payoff, despite having told The Post that he planned to stay in Denver the night the Nuggets won the championship and hinting at a return for the parade a few days later. Before the verbal agreement on Friday, Brown’s career earnings were about $15 million. But his output when partnering with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, in addition to how valuable he was in the NBA Finals, allowed him to profit monetarily from his performance.

According to league sources who spoke to The Post, the Nuggets and veteran point guard Reggie Jackson have also reached an agreement on a two-year, $10 million contract with a player option for the second year. The fact that he will be back as a valuable veteran ballhandler might lessen the impact of Brown’s departure. A source said that DeAndre Jordan, a seasoned center, also consented to return to Denver. He contributed significantly to the Denver team’s locker room culture and built a sincere bond with Jokic. 

According to GM Calvin Booth, many components of the roster that won the championship this season were expected to be returned. Due to salary cap limitations, the Nuggets have always seen this offseason as crucial for internal growth.

Brown’s Multi-Faceted Skill Set a Bright, Promising Pacer Future

He is the third defensive-minded player Indiana has added since last week, and he is another young, developing player who appears poised for a breakout campaign. Jarace Walker, a power forward, and Ben Sheppard, a winger, chosen by the Pacers with their two first-round picks.

After the Pacers’ second-highest league scoring output of 119.5 points was allowed by Indiana, coach Rick Carlisle made it obvious what the team needed to address in the off-season. Carlisle said during the last news conference in April, “With the excitement generated by the positives of this season, we must be extremely frank about our concerns. Defense and rebounding continue to be our challenges.

Tyrese Haliburton, a well-known All-Star guard, Myles Turner, a two-time NBA block champion, and rookie swingman Benedict Mathurin already make up the team. Brown now completes it.

He started 31 games for the Nuggets during the regular season last year, recording averages of 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 dimes. However, Indiana might still need to be done moving.

Last year’s starting wing Buddy Hield, who shot 45.8% from 3-point range, tied for fifth in 3-pointers made per game (3.6) and could be traded. He will turn 31 in December, has a contract that expires, and might develop into a helpful scoring asset for a title contender.

After a season marred by injuries that saw him fall behind Haliburton, Mathurin, rookie Andrew Nembhard, and veteran T.J. McConnell on the depth chart, Chris Duarte, an all-rookie guard in 2021–2022, may also be changing teams. The Pacers also have extra draft picks and are still $48.1 million below the luxury tax.

Brown will Bolster and Solidify the Indiana Roster and Seal the Gaps

For the Pacers, Brown will fill many gaps. He adds another shot creator, cutter, and transition danger to the roster while being one of the league’s top point-of-attack perimeter defenders. Brown is an excellent fit for the Pacers, a team aware it needs to strengthen its defense.

For the Denver Nuggets’ past season, the wing/guard hybrid contributed significantly to the eventual title winners’ postseason success, scoring 12 points per game and making several essential plays. Just before the NBA Draft, he chose not to exercise his player option with Denver, making this offseason his first as a free agent. The Nuggets lacked the funds to keep him, and the Pacers were interested in many of the same reasons Pritchard outlined above.

Fortunately for Indiana, Brown was likewise keen to work together. “It was simple. When free agency started, I had two calls; the Pacers were the second. From there, it was finalized,” Brown added. Later, he said, “I just think it’s a perfect fit.” Brown also met with the Knicks, and they threw out the first pitch. The 26-year-old felt that Indiana made more sense and quickly agreed to terms. Tyrese Haliburton, the Pacers All-Star guard who extended his contract on Thursday, was credited by Brown with aiding in his recruitment to Indiana.

The organization established its case through recruitment, a significant financial commitment, and a pitch based on his compatibility with the team. Brown boarded the vehicle. The Pacers are overjoyed with the signing of this top player who shifted markets as a free agent. He fulfills many criteria and should be an excellent addition to a club eager to advance.

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