Jeremy Lamb Joins the Indiana Pacers
What’s the deal?
Jeremy Lamb is off to the Indiana Pacers after agreeing to a three-year contract that was announced just after free agency began on July 1st. Lamb's three year $31.5 million deal gives him a new home in Indiana after the Charlotte Hornets declined to bring him back.
What does Thompson bring to the Warriors?
Lamb is a great fit for Indiana, their 18th ranked offense will be jump started by his aggressive wing play. Lamb will help first by improving Indiana's 23rd ranked free throw rate from last season. Domantas Sabonis was the only Pacer drawing fouls at a higher rate than Lamb last season. Lamb also converted these at 88.9%, good enough for sixth in the league. He will also help reduce turnovers on an Indiana team that gave up the rock on 14% of their possessions last season.
Lamb has an excellent mid-range game, with a floater and a fade away or step back. He is adept at attacking off the dribble and uses screens well to get himself open. He can find diving big men underneath the basket and looks to push hard in transition.
Lamb will also fit nicely into Indiana's elite defence. His massive seven foot plus wingspan enables him to guard multiple positions. He moves his feet well laterally, while his long arms enable him to get multiple steals and deflections.
What does this move mean for the Warriors?
Indiana's signing of Lamb in addition to Malcolm Brogdon means they upgrade their offense while still being able to defend at a high level. With Victor Oladipo returning they have multiple players that can attack off the dribble or play off the ball. Though they were swept by the Celtics in the Playoffs last year, their defence was exceptional. They will be able to score freely from different actions now, really opening up Oladipo's game.
How would you grade this contract?
Lamb's contract was slightly less than many thought he would get on the open market. 10.5 million a year for a wing that can play both sides of the ball is a value signing. Lamb is entering his prime having just turned 27 and can re-enter the market at age 30 for one more decent payday. His deal won’t lower the market for other wings as its likely he took less money to play for a Playoff team.
Lamb is an excellent addition for the Pacers. Each year he has improved and added to his game, at 27 he has a chance to play a significant role on a Playoff team for the first time. Lamb will probably lead the bench unit for Indiana when the season rolls around. Indiana will be looking to get out of the first round of the Playoffs in a weakened Eastern Conference. Lamb's addition means they have perimeter flexibility for the Playoffs on a team friendly contract.