Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reaches for a rebound against Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals in Indianapolis, Saturday, June 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conr
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers started free agency by announcing they have made a qualifying offer to backup forward Tyler Hansbrough and were starting the task of re-signing David West.
West played a key role in helping the young Pacers develop, especially after Danny Granger went down with a left knee injury. West is now an unrestricted free agent and the Pacers say he is their top offseason priority. Hansbrough was one of Indiana's bigger contributors off the bench last season, a bench new Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird intends to improve.
It was a busy first day for Bird, who also introduced first-round draft pick Solomon Hill.