Charlotte Hornets: Jeremy Lamb set to play crucial role for Oladipo-less Pacers

Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Lamb (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Lamb (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Former Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb has a good opportunity to contribute for a winning Pacers team who await the arrival of their best player.

On the first day of Free Agency, the Indiana Pacers quickly agreed to a deal with former Charlotte Hornets player Jeremy Lamb. Both sides agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million deal, and Lamb officially put pen to the paper and inked that contract yesterday evening.

Lamb was a huge piece to the Hornets during the 2018-19 season, scoring 15.3 points per game, while also contributing 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He was the sidekick to Kemba Walker, who also left the Hornets this off-season. It’s easy to see that the Hornets have had a tough Free Agency period thus far.

While it sucks to see Lamb go, it is great to see him join a contending team. The Pacers are one of the more respected teams in the league. They’re tough, they play team basketball, and they care about winning more than anything. Lamb fits the culture, and he will have a huge role for the club right away.

When you look back, Lamb leaving was kind of inevitable. The Hornets were tight on cash and had to find a point guard replacement for Walker, so Lamb wasn’t the top priority. He had a very good and underrated four-year career with Charlotte.

The Pacers held an introductory press conference on Sunday evening for both Lamb and T.J. Warren, who they acquired via trade earlier this off-season. Lamb talked about how he is excited about the potential of the team, his role moving forward, and his improved game.

While Lamb said that he is open to either starting or coming off the bench, Kevin Pritchard, the President of Basketball Operations of the Pacers, made it clear that Lamb will be in the starting lineup until Victor Oladipo returns from his devastating quad injury.

So, Indiana will open the season with a starting lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. That’s a really good lineup, and it’s going to get even better once they get their All-Star back. The Pacers really wanted offensive creators, so they will lean on Lamb for a lot of production on both ends of the court.

The good thing about Lamb is that he plays both ends of the court. Indiana is a team that has leaned on their defense over the years, and Lamb can make an impact on that end. He has long arms which help him get into passing lanes and create frustration on the perimeter.

When Oladipo does eventually make his return from injury (December/January), Lamb will most likely shift into the sixth man role, which he is very comfortable with. Lamb came off the bench for the Hornets this past season during the second half of the year, and thrived in that position.

With Lamb out of the picture in Charlotte, you can expect young players, like Dwayne Bacon and Malik Monk, to hold down the fort at the two-guard spot. Bacon, in particular, is in line for a big season. The third-year pro out of Florida State is playing extremely well in Summer League.

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I believe the Pacers got one of the bigger steals in Free Agency thus far with the addition of Lamb. He’s on a very team friendly contract and is a perfect fit with that roster. Charlotte Hornets fans will miss seeing “Fly Guy Lambo” in the teal and purple, but should be happy to see that he’s moved on into a better situation.