Al Jefferson has decided he wants to be a part of the Charlotte Bobcats rebuilding project, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Jefferson is expected to sign a three-year contract worth $41 million when the moratorium on signing free agents ends, according to Stein, though there is an opt-out clause after the second season of the deal.
The 28-year-old Jefferson was ranked as the 15th-best free agent on the market, according to SB Nation's Tom Ziller, and the fifth-best center behind Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Nikola Pekovic and Tiago Splitter.
Jefferson, like many other NBA bigs, was initially expected to wait until Howard made his decision and then visit the suitors that weren't able to get the Los Angeles Lakers free agent. The former Utah Jazz center apparently didn't feel like he would've been able to get a better contract, however, and instead inked the deal with Michael Jordan's Bobcats.
Jefferson has started every game he's played in since 2007 after being a bit of an also-ran during his first few seasons in the league with the Boston Celtics. The 6'10 big man averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 33 minutes per game with the Jazz last year. He made $15 million in the last year of a five-year extension worth $65 million that he signed in 2007.