CHARLOTTE, N.C. Al Jefferson stood up from the podium in his navy suit, dime-sized diamond earrings in both ears the type only a man who just signed a three-year, 41 million deal could afford.
His light-blue dress shirt hung untucked from the biggest free agent this citys ever seen. General manager Rich Cho and president Rod Higgins stood to his left and right beaming as the interior scorer they had searched for for years held up his new No. 25 jersey.
"Low-post scoring, that's a premium in our business," Higgins said. "If you can find a guy who can score in the low post with his back to the basket, normally those guys arent available and so were fortunate to have him."
It came at a premium, too a deal critics say was too high for a 28-year-old whose defense, especially against the pick and roll, is questionable.
But big names like Jefferson need opportunity and exorbitant contracts to consider small markets in free agency. Jefferson got both with Charlotte the only team he...