Amundson adds depth, toughness to frontcourt

Indianapolis (Dec. 19, 2011) -- The depth, aggression and energy level of the Pacers' frontcourt, already one of the strengths of the team, will receive another boost when Lou Amundson joins the team later this week.

A 6-9, 225-pound forward, Amundson was acquired from Golden State Monday in exchange for Brandon Rush.

Coach Frank Vogel said he envisions Amundson "giving us depth at the big spot and adding to our toughness."

"We've got some killers on our front line," he said. "You put (Jeff) Pendergraph and Jeff Foster and (Tyler) Hansbrough and Amundson in here and you've got some of the best hustle guys in the entire league."

With Pendergraph sidelined with a sore knee, starting power forward David West still regaining his conditioning after joining the team in a trade last week and Foster's minutes being limited in order to keep the veteran fresh for the latter stages of the season, Amundson could step in quickly.

"He's a work guy," said West of Amundson. "He's going to come in and play hard, do small stuff, just bring that energy. He's an energy guy, he'll be all over the floor. Definitely going to add to this team."

Given the team's pursuit of additional depth at shooting guard, it wasn't easy parting with Rush, who led the team in 3-point percentage each of the last two seasons. His career mark of .402 ranks fourth in franchise history.

The 2008 first-round pick of Portland (No. 13 overall) was acquired in the draft-night trade with Portland that brought Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts in exchange for Ike Diogo and Jerryd Bayless. He avearged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in three seasons with the Pacers, starting 104 of the 224 games he played.

Vogel said losing Rush was difficult "because when he came in I was his workout guy so he and I had a tight bond."

"It's part of the business," Vogel said. "He's welcoming a change, I'm excited for him and sure you lose some defense and some 3-point shooting but we believe in the depth we have at the wing spot. George Hill is going to get more minutes at shooting guard as a result of this and it's going to be good for us."

Amundson is not expected to play Tuesday night in the preseason finale in Chicago. Vogel said West's availability would be a "game-day decision."

Undrafted in 2006 after three seasons at UNLV, Amundson was a D-League standout in 2006, earning brief looks from the Kings, Jazz and 76ers during the 2006-07 season. He spent the 2007-08 season with Philadelphia but played sparingly.

His career blossomed in 2008 when he signed with the Suns. Not only was he a fan favorite for his rugged style, Amundson proved a productive rebounder and shot-blocker off the bench. He signed with the Warriors for the 2010-11 season, averaging 4.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 46 games.

The Pacers will be his fifth team in six NBA seasons.

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