The Toronto Raptors have added their latest puzzle piece. The Indiana Pacers confirmed yesterday that they would not match the Raptors' four-year, $20-million (all currency U.S.) contract offer for Jarrett Jack. That clears the restricted free agent to sign with Toronto. He's expected to appear at a press conference at the Air Canada Centre today.
Jack is expected to solidify the point guard spot behind Jose Calderon, which was a weak spot when Calderon was injured for large parts of last season and a reason why the Raptors finished 33-49 and out of the playoffs for the first time in two seasons.
Jack, 25, averaged 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists a game last year while appearing in all 82 games for the Pacers. He supplanted former Raptor T.J. Ford for the starting job.
Jack was also a college teammate of Raptors star Chris Bosh at Georgia Tech.
"It took a minute, but I was able to secure a contract for four years," Jack told the Indianapolis Star recently. "I'm looking forward to playing with Chris again. It will be like our freshman year all over again."
The Raptors have had a busy off-season, highlighted by the signing of free agent Hedo Turkoglu and Jack.
It's believed the club still intends to make an offer to Carlos Delfino, their own restricted free agent. He played in Moscow last season.
Another target is free-agent big man Rasho Nesterovic, who was Jack's teammate on the Pacers after being traded to Indiana a year ago from Toronto.
Indiana wanted to keep Jack but was under financial pressure after finishing 28th in the NBA in attendance last season. The Pacers already have $32-million tied up in point guards Jamaal Tinsley and Ford this season and next, making them both difficult to trade. They recently signed Earl Watson and drafted point guard A.J. Price in the second round. When the Raptors offered Jack a $2-million raise, the Pacers were caught out.
Jack will also play some minutes backing up the shooting guard position for the Raptors, and is known for his aggressive perimeter defence.
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