INDIANAPOLIS–Two of the newest Indiana Pacers say they’re eager to get started and are excited to be a part of the team.
TJ Warren and Jeremy Lamb were introduced at a press conference Sunday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Warren, a forward, was acquired from the Phoenix Suns by the Pacers on the night of the 2019 NBA Draft in exchange for cash as part of a three-team deal. Jeremy Lamb, previously a guard with the Charlotte Hornets, signed a 3-year, $31 million deal with the team 10 days later.
“You can always tell when guys love the game because they have these incremental improvements every single year. You look at TJ and you look at Jeremy, they’ve improved every single year,” Pacers General Manager Kevin Pritchard said in Sunday’s press conference.
Lamb set new career highs during the 2018-19 regular season with Charlotte as he averaged 15.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Warren was the Suns’ second-leading scorer last season with an average of 18.0 points to go with 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
“We’ve gotten young. I think we’ve gotten really athletic. But I think there’s a great balance here with youth, but also some experience,” Pritchard said.
Warren and Lamb both said they are impressed with the culture of competitiveness the Pacers have built recently.
“I feel like every day matters here. Every day is taken seriously and I’m ready to contribute to that,” Warren said.
Lamb said he’s excited about the potential of the team.
“Iron sharpens iron. Everybody here, I’ve already got a great feel for the coaches and some of the players immediately text me. I feel like the more talent, the more players that you have that are ready to work and ready to win, that’s only going to make you better,” Lamb said.
“Whatever role I’m given, whether that’s starting, coming off the bench, scoring, defense, whatever it is, I’m going to go out there and do it to the best of my ability,” Lamb said.
Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan said the team has already laid a good foundation, but Warren and Lamb will add to the foundation.
“These guys can flat out play. I think we’re a longer and bigger team than they we were last year. We should also be an even better defensive team,” McMillan said.
The Pacers will have another press conference Monday at 10:30 am. Malcolm Brogdon, the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year who came to the Pacers from the Milwaukee Bucks, will be speak at that press conference. Pritchard and McMillan will also be there.