CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Bobcats agreed on Thursday to a three-year, $40.5 million contract with free agent center Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz, said people familiar with the situation.
Jefferson will make $13.5 million in each year of the deal, with the third season being a player option.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t become official. The contract cannot be signed until July 10 when the NBA’s moratorium on signing new deals is lifted.
Jefferson, 28, gives the Bobcats a much-needed scoring threat in the low post, where they struggled last season. He should also help on the boards, where the Bobcats were repeatedly outrebounded the last two seasons.
The 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jefferson has averaged 18.8 points and 10 rebounds per game over the last seven seasons. Last season, his third with the Jazz, he averaged 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
The Boston Celtics selected Jefferson out of high school in Mississippi with the No. 15 pick in the 2004 draft. During a nine-year NBA career, Jefferson also played two seasons for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He has career averages of 16.4 points, 9 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Jefferson was among four high-profile free agents who played last season with the Jazz, along with Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Randy Foye. Utah went 43-39 and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Acquired by the Jazz in a July 2010 trade, Jefferson earned $15 million last season and led the team in both scoring and rebounding.
Jefferson becomes the best low post scoring threat the Bobcats have had in nine years in the NBA.
Last year, the Bobcats started a combination of Brendan Haywood, Byron Mullens, Bismack Biyombo and Josh McRoberts at center. Gana Diop, their other big man, rarely played.
Elsewhere, people familiar with the trade say Sacramento, New Orleans and Portland have agreed to a three-team deal sending guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans, center Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers and guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings.
The people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because NBA rules prevent confirmation of trades until July 10, say Portland is sending second-round draft pick Jeff Withey to New Orleans and a future draft pick to Sacramento as part of the deal, which was first reported by ESPN.
Evans, a former Rookie of the Year and restricted free agent, averaged 15.2 points with the Kings last season, his fourth. The 7-foot Lopez averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Vasquez averaged 13.9 points and nine assists.
In Atlanta, a person with knowledge of the deal says the Atlanta Hawks have reached an agreement to re-sign guard-forward Kyle Korver to a multiyear deal.
Korver averaged 10.9 points per game and ranked second in the NBA by making 45.7 percent of his 3-point shots. Korver also had reported interest from Brooklyn, Milwaukee and San Antonio.
Cleveland has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with former Lakers forward Earl Clark.
Clark, who spent two days visiting with the Cavs earlier this week, is getting a deal worth $9 million, said the person who spoke to the Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because NBA teams can’t officially sign players until the free agent period ends on July 10.