The Indiana Pacers have made a few deals as they try to put some more key pieces in place to improve the team next year.
New Pacers forward Damjan Rudez looks forward to bringing his sweet shooting stroke to a place that appreciates basketball. Rudez, a 6'10" 28-year-old Croatian, replied to my Facebook message Wednesday:
"Hi Rich! This all seems like a huge dream... As for the fans - can't wait to meet them! I know that Indianapolis has a huge basketball tradition, it will be fun playing in front of that crowd."
Rudez is in Zagreb, Croatia, but says he will come to Indianapolis next week. Teams can negotiate with free agents right now, but cannot sign free agents until Thursday. Rudez declined to discuss specifics of his deal with the Pacers, but Yahoo Sports reports that Rudez has agreed with the Pacers on a three-year deal. The Pacers would use part of their mid-level salary cap exception to pay Rudez.
WATCH: Rudez highlights
Rudez plays the "stretch 4," position, which the Pacers had so much trouble defending last season. Rudez shot 44 percent from three-point range while playing in Spain last season.
The Pacers ranked 22nd in the NBA last season with 6.7 three-pointers made per game. They shot 35.7% from behind the arc, 17th in the league. He will likely compete with Luis Scola and Chris Copeland for playing time behind David West.
The Pacers also added veteran guard C.J. Miles to their roster on the second day of NBA free agency. Miles acknowledged he had joined the Pacers in a post to his Twitter and Instagram accounts:
"Blessed and Excited to get to work #PacerNation #PhotoShopIsAmazing #StayStrapped http://instagram.com/p/p9du4otRjI/"
ESPN reported that Miles has reached a deal with the Pacers worth about $18 million over four years. Miles played the last two seasons in Cleveland. He averaged just under 10 points in 51 games last season.
Miles also big farewell to the Cavaliers on Twitter:
"I have nothing but love for Cleveland and the entire Cavs organization I would not be in the position I am now without them and their belief," he wrote.