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Salary dump brings Jeremy Evans to Indiana Pacers

Acquiring the former Slam Dunk Champion is the latest, albeit low-risk, example of the Pacers prioritizing energy and athleticism over floor spacing.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers have acquired forward Jeremy Evans and cash from the Dallas Mavericks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Evans, who won the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest, averaged 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds on 54 percent shooting in 30 games played last season with the Mavericks.

Shedding the 28-year-old's $1.2 million salary owed to him in 2016-17 will free up the cap space the Mavericks need to re-sign Dirk Nowitzki to a two-year, $40 million contract. Meanwhile, Indiana's move to add emergency depth and athleticism at the forward position puts their roster at one name shy of the 15-player maximum, with second-round draft pick Georges Niang still not officially added to the mix.

Acquiring Evans is a low-risk move, but the interchangeable forward does little to address the team's lack of shooting while seemingly duplicating what Glenn Robinson III's smaller stature, energy, and quickness can provide in a reserve role at the wing. Indiana's bench shot a league-worst 29 percent from three-point territory, and the addition of the 6-foot-9 forward's shaky 25 percent field-goal percentage from distance last season will provide only a slight upgrade over Rodney Stuckey (24.1%) and Joe Young's (21.7%) conversion rates.

Should Indiana end up declining Shayne Whittington's option next month, then the former Slam Dunk Champion's rebounding rate from his last season in Utah (14.9%), which happens to be comparable to that of Lavoy Allen (14.7%), could possible provide some versatility to a team looking to play with greater pace, if that number can hold over a larger sample size.

Per Tim Donahue of 8 points, 9 seconds, the Pacers still have approximately $10.3 million dollars in cap space to satisfy their need for floor spacing, or renegotiate Jeff Teague's contract.

Though it is only an end of the bench move, it further emphasizes the team's confidence that their accumulation of talent and ability to consistently outrun opponents will outweigh the value of off-ball threats or the liability of a potentially leaky defense, barring exceptional work by Dan Burke.