Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors are headed for a reunion.
Rush and the Warriors agreed to a two-year, $2.5 million contract Wednesday. Rush’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said the small forward will hold the option in the second year of the deal.
Rush was Golden State’s top reserve and best perimeter defender during the 2011-12 season before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s 2012-13 home opener. He was traded to Utah last summer as part of a salary shedding move that allowed the Warriors to sign Andre Iguodala away from Denver.
Rush played just 38 games for the Jazz last season after returning from that devastating knee injury. He held a workout for teams in Las Vegas recently before signing with the Warriors, who had pursued Rush from the start of free agency July 1.
Bartelstein said Warriors general manager Bob Myers and assistant GM Travis Schlenk inquired every day about Rush once free agency began. He said Myers walked out of Rush’s recent workout convinced of the forward’s abilities after 10 minutes and said, “I’ve seen all I need to see.”
“That type of persistence paid off,” Bartelstein said.
Rush, now 29, spent his first three seasons with Indiana after being drafted 13th overall in 2008. He has averaged 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in six seasons.
The Warriors are hoping he will fit seamlessly into new coach Steve Kerr’s system the way he did under Mark Jackson. Rush averaged 9.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 26 minutes per game during the 2011-12 season. He shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range – sixth-best in the NBA – and shot a career-high 50 percent overall.
Bartelstein said Rush is fully rehabilitated from his knee injury and ready to return to top form.
“The second year is when you get your game back. That first year you’re really trying to survive,” Bartelstein said. “He’s worked really hard to get back and is excited for the opportunity.”
Updated July 16, 2014