European star Sarunas Jasikevicius preferred a chance to go for an NBA title with the Indiana Pacers over an opportunity to play alongside one of his best friends with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 29-year-old point guard, who won three consecutive Euroleague championships, agreed to a three-year deal with the Pacers, his agent, Doug Neustadt, said Monday.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Jasikevicius cannot sign a contract until terms of the new NBA collective bargaining agreement are finalized.
He could have agreed to play for Cleveland and joined fellow Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a year after being the best man in Ilgauskas’ wedding. Instead, he picked the team with the better championship credentials.
Jasikevicius likely will compete with Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson for playing time at both guard spots.
Jasikevicius was passed over by NBA general managers the past few years, failing to get a significant contract offer. But the former Maryland guard reopened some eyes after scoring 28 points and making three 3-pointers down the stretch as Lithuania upset the United States last summer in the Olympics.
Free agents told to wait some more
The NBA pushed back the free agency signing date again, forcing dozens of players to wait another several days before they can begin signing contracts.
The moratorium on signings was supposed to end Thursday at 6 p.m., but now will likely last until Monday or Tuesday.
Knicks, Brown continue discussions
Larry Brown and Herb Williams planned to break bread together Monday night, one of the last steps before Brown decides whether he wants to become head coach of the New York Knicks.
Brown could inform the team of his decision as soon as today.
“If I get involved, it’ll be a go,” Brown’s agent, Joe Glass, said Monday.
The meeting between Dolan, Thomas and Brown lasted more than two hours, and none of the principles commented on what was discussed. But the job appears to be Brown’s for the taking.