The Vertical’s Shams Charania reports that the Pacers are waiving Rodney Stuckey. This move will eliminate his player option for next season and save the Pacers $7 million in next season’s salary cap.
Stuckey injured his patellar tendon and would have essentially been out for the rest of the season for the Pacers unless they made an unexpected deep playoff run.
Stuckey’s contract is one of three deals that the Pacers have that are unique to the NBA in that the final season’s player options can be avoided if the player is waived before the regular season ends. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported this last week. Stuckey’s injury likely sealed his fate.
CJ Miles has a similar deal but won’t be waived as the Pacers are desperate for wing depth and shooting. Monta Ellis could be waived, but not until the end of next season to avoid the final year on his contract if he continues to decline.
Rodney Stuckey came to the Pacers on a veteran-minimum deal in 2014-15 and shot a career-best 39% from 3-point range. Stuckey never showed that kind of consistent shooting again and struggled to stay healthy during the past two seasons. In 39 games this season, Stuckey was averaging a career-low 7.2 points per game while shooting only 37% from the field.
With Al Jefferson and Glenn Robinson III also injured, the Pacers will likely look to add another healthy player to the roster with a spot opening up. Two former Pacers are currently available: Tyler Hansbrough and Lance Stephenson.
Hansbrough has been playing for the Mad Ants and lighting the D-League defenses on fire with his awkward, effective post game. Hansbrough has averaged 17.6 points and 12.2 rebounds in 13 games in Fort Wayne.
Stephenson got a chance with the Timberwolves with a 10-day contract, but the Wolves let him go once it expired. Stephenson averaged 3.5 points in 11 minutes per game during his time in Minnesota.
The Pacers could also look at Alex Poythress and Ben Bentil who are currently playing with the Mad Ants as well.