The Indiana Pacers have waived Al Jefferson according to media reports.
The move will save the Pacers at least $6 million in cap space this season, more if he is waived with the stretch provision.
Jefferson signed a 3-year contract with Indiana to be the backup center to Myles Turner but was a disappointment in his first season and played sparingly in his second as the Pacers third center behind Turner and Domas Sabonis.
His offensive post skills were still evident in his spot minutes but his lack of defense and a rapidly evolving NBA made his skills less useful than with his stints on previous teams.
He did, however, take to the role of veteran mentor to young players on the team and was one of the players that came to Kevin Pritchard at the trade deadline to urge him to keep the group together. His $10 million price tag was too much for the Pacers to hold on to him for that role as they look to add pieces to the roster.
Pritchard had seemed confident the trade market could be an area where Indiana could make some additions but this makes it seem less likely that it’s a route that the Pacers will take. Jefferson could have been an attractive get in a trade for a team looking to create space or avoid the luxury tax.
It’s likely the Pacers shopped his deal around before waiving him outright but must not have been able to find any takers or anyone willing to offer something appealing to Pritchard in return.
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