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Bobcats sign Jefferson, Zeller; Thomas is amnestied

July 11, 2013

(O-N-E photo by Kurt Barkley)

The Charlotte Bobcats were extremely active on Wednesday, officially making three rumored roster moves official to the media and public.

Wednesday was the first day that free agents could sign with any NBA team.

Free agent Jefferson signed to deal

Former Utah center Al Jefferson was officially introduced by the Charlotte Bobcats during a press conference held on Wednesday.

"I can't express how happy I am to be here," Jefferson said during Wednesday's press conference. "I love Charlotte. The Bobcats did a great job of coming at me and just made me feel really proud that team out there just really respects my game and wants me to be a part of their family. I'm pleased with that. I'm very happy to be here and represent the city of Charlotte."

The terms of the deal for Jefferson, who stands 6-foot-10, were not disclosed, but they are believed to be worth three years and $41 million.

“We are ecstatic to add Al to our roster,” said Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins.  “He gives us a low post presence that we have not had on our roster and brings a skill set that does not become available very often.  He is a veteran leader who helps his teammates get better, but at the same time he is only 28 years old so he can be part of the core of this franchise for several years to come.”

Jefferson said a conversation with a Bobcats player swayed his decision to come to the team.

"About two months ago, I was in New York. I saw Kemba Walker," Jefferson said. "He made this little joke about coming to Charlotte. At that time, I thought he was joking and passing time. About two weeks after that, my agent contacted me and asked me if I wanted to come down for an interview and visit."

During his nine-year NBA career, Jefferson has averages of 16.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is expected to be the team's starting center this season.

Zeller signed to rookie contract

Cody Zeller, the No. 4 overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2013 NBA Draft, was officially signed to a contract on Wednesday.

Zeller's deal is reported worth around $7 million for the next two seasons with a pair of team options in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The 7-foot University of Indian product is expected to start at power forward for the Bobcats during this upcoming season, teaming with the recently signed Jefferson to form a formidable front court for Charlotte.

Forward Thomas waived, amnestied

The Charlotte Bobcats officially placed Tyrus Thomas on waivers and designated him as the team's amnesty player. This provision allows the Bobcats to waive Thomas and not have his salary county against Charlotte's salary cap or luxury tax.

By doing so, around $18 million in salary cap is cleared by Charlotte during the next two seasons.

The 6-foot-10 Thomas played in 26 games this past season, averaging 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest. He was acquired from the Chicago Bulls in February 2010 in a trade involving Acie Law and Flip Murray.

Thomas, who is entering his seventh year in the league, has played in 400 career games.

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