Agent: T.J. Ford to return to Pacers next season

Indiana Pacers point guard T.J. Ford will pick up the player

option on the final year of his contract and return to the team

next season.

Bob Myers, Ford’s agent, said the paperwork is in process. Ford

is owed $8.5 million next year.

Ford joined the team via a trade with Toronto two years ago. He

averaged a career-high 14.9 points his first season with the

Pacers, despite splitting time with Jarrett Jack.

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien had high hopes for Ford heading into

this season, but he struggled. O’Brien benched him for a month at

midseason in favor of Earl Watson and rookie A.J. Price.

After O’Brien started playing Ford again, he suffered a left

groin injury and didn’t play after March 12. He averaged 10.3

points in 47 games.