Tag Archives: indiana pacers

Report: Trevor Booker nears deal to play in China

Trevor Booker becomes the latest Pacers free agent to join a team in the Chinese Basketball Association according to a report from Alex Kennedy.

The deal with the Brave Dragons isn’t finalized yet but it’s likely that three members of the Indiana Pacers 2017-18 roster will be playing in China next season.

Al Jefferson and Joe Young will also play in China next season.

Booker joined the Pacers late last season and served as the team’s backup power forward. Indiana signed Kyle O’Quinn this summer in that veteran big off the bench role and have said they would like to see TJ Leaf play some this season as well.

Booker has eight years of NBA experience and has averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in his career.

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Indiana Pacers add C.J. Wilcox with 2-way contract

The Indiana Pacers have filled their remaining 2-way contract slot with a wing with some NBA experience in C.J. Wilcox.

Wilcox played for the Pacers in Las Vegas during Summer League and shot the ball very well throughout the team’s five games. He averaged 9.2 points per game and shot 56% from the floor.

He has three seasons of NBA playing experience and 66 games played in the NBA overall between time spent with the Clippers and Magic. He’s played sparingly every season and averages just 2 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game in his career.

The other 2-way contract for the Pacers is Edmond Sumner, who signed a 2-year deal last season as he was recovering from an ACL injury.

Wilcox provides the Pacers with some emergency depth at shooting guard and could come in and make open shots if he’s ever called upon. Each 2-way player has up to 45 days with the NBA team during the season and spends the rest of the time with the G-League affiliate.

It’s possible the Pacers end up giving Wilcox the 15th position on the roster if they use up his 45 days quickly like they did with Alex Poythress last season.

Ben Moore was previously on a 2-way deal and was another possible candidate for the contract. All signs point to him still being invited to training camp and playing for the Mad Ants again next season.

ESPN: Nate McMillan finalizing contract extension with the Indiana Pacers

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Indiana Pacers and Nate McMillan are finalizing a contract extension. McMillan has one year remaining on his contract currently.

McMillan coached the Indiana Pacers to a surprising season last year as they exceeded all reasonable expectations and pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink of elimination in the first round of the playoffs.

The extension will extend the life of McMillan’s current contract by two years which would be through the 2020-21 season.

Behind McMillan, Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison, Bojan Bogdanovic and Domantas Sabonis all had the best seasons of their career last season. This year the challenge will be pushing the team to a higher level with higher (at least external) expectations than the previous year.

The Pacers will be looking to show that this next season wasn’t a fluke and so will McMillan, whose team in the final Paul George season struggled to meet expectations but also had a roster that many players that are no longer in the NBA just two seasons later.

It seemed this news was inevitable as soon as the offseason began as Pacers President of Basketball Operations got choked up and emotional when talking about the job that Nate McMillan did. The two were together previously in Portland and clearly enjoy a good working relationship.

An extension had previously been reported to be happening sometime in the Summer by the Indy Star.

JJ Redick nearly joined the Indiana Pacers

On his most recent podcast, JJ Redick said that he was very close to joining the Indiana Pacers in free agency.

“I almost signed with Indy,” Redick said. “I was an hour away, maybe two hours away … I had a whole conversation with Nate McMillan.”

Redick said that his current team the Philadelphia 76ers changed their offer before a deadline he had to decide on a deal with Indiana and he decided to stay put.

If Redick would have signed with the Pacers, it likely would have meant that Tyreke Evans would not have joined the team.

Redick would have been an interesting fit with the Pacers as he plays the same position as Victor Oladipo and the Pacers would have felt the loss of Lance Stephenson even more without adding Evans as a secondary playmaker.

It’s also possible that Doug McDermott was the backup plan to Redick as Tony East of 8 points, 9 seconds suggests.

Redick brought the subject up because he had badmouthed Indianapolis a bit in his previous episode, naming it his least favorite NBA city to visit and was apologizing for doing so, complimenting the city and its people. You can listen to the whole podcast below.

Pacers rookie Alize Johnson buys his mother new car

It appears Alize Johnson has made his first big purchase after signing his rookie contract with the Indiana Pacers: a new car for his mother.

In an Instagram post, you can see his mother’s reaction.

“You got me everything I ever wanted,” Johnson said on Instagram. “Now it’s my turn. I love you, Mom.”

Former Pacers player Glenn Robinson III once bought his mother a new car for Christmas.

Myles Turner is no stranger to the new car gift as well.

Roy Hibbert says it’s “time to move on” from NBA

2-time All-Star Roy Hibbert appears to be done playing basketball telling TMZ Sports that “it’s just time to move on.”

Hibbert, 31, didn’t play last season and his name hasn’t popped up in rumor mills all offseason. He last played in the NBA during the 2016-17 season for the Denver Nuggets.

“I’m good on that,” he said when asked if he would want to play with LeBron James in Los Angeles, saying that he wasn’t training at the moment and felt like it was time to move on from basketball.

Hibbert was the lynchpin for the Indiana Pacers elite defense that challenged the LeBron Heat three consecutive seasons in the NBA playoffs. Behind Head Coach Frank Vogel, he mastered the Verticality technique and became the best rim protector in the league for a couple seasons, earning two All-Star selections.

The game evolved quickly, however, in a way devalued Hibbert’s play style. Unable to defend on the perimeter as teams started playing more and more lineups where every player can shoot the deep ball, Hibbert’s rim protection wasn’t able to be used as frequently.

“It’s surprising to me,” said his former coach Vogel in the above story. “But the league has adapted, both big picture and in terms of what he was doing for us in Indiana. There’s been a severe evolution in how the league plays and he’s been a victim of it.”

As the game abandoned him, Hibbert seems to have done the same. TMZ starts off asking him about Isaiah Thomas and he was unaware that he had signed with Denver. He later said that he hasn’t watched much basketball or paid attention to everything that’s going on but doesn’t think anyone can compete with the Golden State Warriors, even before they signed DeMarcus Cousins.

Alize Johnson signs deal with Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers second-round pick Alize Johnson shared a picture on Instagram of him signing his first contract.

Johnson, the 50th overall pick, looked good in Las Vegas Summer League, showing his relentless nature on the glass, ability to guard multiple positions and talent in transition. He averaged 12.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in Vegas.

The Athletic’s Michael Scotto reports that the contract includes one fully guaranteed season.

Rodney Stuckey attempts an NBA comeback

Rodney Stuckey is trying to get back into the NBA.

Stuckey is hosting a private workout for teams in Las Vegas according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

Stuckey was out of the NBA all last season and hasn’t been picked up since the Indiana Pacers waived him after an injury, which cleared the way for Lance Stephenson to make his return at the time.

The Pacers are among the teams that sent representatives to the Stuckey workout according to a report.

Stuckey has career averages of 12.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.6 rebounds in 651 games played.

The Indiana Pacers put the depth in Depth Chart

With additions of Tyreke Evans, Doug McDermott, Kyle O’Quinn and Aaron Holiday, the Indiana Pacers roster is almost filled with 13 players under contract currently. And second-round pick Alize Johnson seems likely to become the 14th soon with his strong Summer League play.

They also have two 2-way contracts to fill with one spot filled currently by Edmond Sumner. Johnson could possibly fill that slot instead of an NBA roster spot as well.

The subtractions from the team include Lance Stephenson, Al Jefferson, Joe Young, and recently waived Alex Poythress.

Here’s a look at the projected starters and rotation as it stands today.

Point guard

  1. Darren Collison
  2. Cory Joseph
  3. Aaron Holiday

Shooting guard

  1. Victor Oladipo
  2. Tyreke Evans

Small forward

  1. Bojan Bogdanovic
  2. Doug McDermott

Power forward

  1. Thaddeus Young
  2. T.J. Leaf
  3. Alize Johnson

Center:

  1. Myles Turner
  2. Domantas Sabonis
  3. Kyle O’Quinn
  4. Ike Anigbogu

A lot less roster turnover than the last few years for the Pacers. The entire starting lineup looks like it’ll be back next season to see if they can pick up where they left off in a surprising campaign.

Kevin Pritchard and company added a lot of depth without losing many rotation players. Evans should give the team the secondary playmaker that it desperately needed last season, especially when Oladipo was out.

McDermott should back up Bogdanovic and be able to bring a lot of the same things to the court that he does.

O’Quinn should be a lot more playable than Jefferson was and be a valuable third center. It seems he may see a lot of time at power forward alongside Turner or Sabonis if McMillan goes that route. Leaf was expected to play minutes next season but his defense still is struggling against guys in the Summer League. He might already be penciling O’Quinn in as the second power forward.

McDermott with the Thunder and O’Quinn with the Magic are both former teammates of Oladipo and of each other with the Knicks and should be good additions to the team’s chemistry.

The rookies lay in waiting but may surprise if they get a chance to play this year. Holiday, as the third point guard, is much more likely to find time than Johnson.

One of the more exciting aspects of the roster that is filled with possibilities of different 5-man groupings to finish the game.

Evans and Oladipo will likely share the floor often this year at the end of games, especially if Evans shooting percentages continue to trend upward. Three guard lineups with three of Collison, Joseph, Oladipo and Evans are likely to find utility during the season as well.

Need a defensive point guard at the end of the game? Here comes Joseph. Want to go small and really space the floor? How about a lineup of DC/Vic/Tyreke/Bojan/Turner that’s filled with guys that can shoot the 3?

Domas Sabonis is always capable of finishing games as well. It will be interesting to see whether the team will have more success this year than last when Turner and Sabonis share the court, a key thing to watch for the team’s future.

It’ll be a fun challenge for Nate McMillan at the end of close games to figure out the right combinations every night depending on the matchup and whose playing well.

One spot remains open on the NBA roster (2 if the Pacers don’t guarantee Anigbogu’s contract later this month) but the Pacers can only offer minimum deals to anyone else looking to join the rising Eastern conference team. Ben Moore is one possibility currently with the team’s Summer League squad as well as for the team’s other 2-way contract. Poythress could still be in the mix and brought back as well or the Pacers could look to add a veteran similar to signing of Damien Wilkins last year.

Report: Al Jefferson agrees to deal to play in China

Al Jefferson will sign with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China according to Sportando.

Jefferson was waived by the Indiana Pacers in order to increase their salary cap space by $6 million earlier this week.

In yesterday’s press conference, Kevin Pritchard mentioned the possibility of Jefferson going overseas to play, saying that he had many conversations with Al after he was waived.

The Pacers signed Kyle O’Quinn as his replacement yesterday.

Indiana Pacers Summer League Grades: Rookies shine in their debuts

The Indiana Pacers lost their opening game in the Las Vegas Summer League the Houston Rockets by a final of 92-89, but the results of the game are meaningless.

Update: Game 2 Grades here

How did the players perform? Here’s some quick grades and recap for how they did in their first game.

Aaron Holiday: B+

Holiday did just about everything you could possibly hope for him to do in his debut. He hit tough shots both inside and out. He moved the ball well, made some nice defensive plays. Most importantly, he looked like an NBA player.

He finished with 23 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals with 9-of-15 shooting from the field. His first three possessions of his career set the tone for his debut: 3-pointer coming off of a screen, deep 3-pointer after crossing up a big on a switch and taking it to the rack and finishing with a difficult left-hand move.

Continue reading Indiana Pacers Summer League Grades: Rookies shine in their debuts

Victor Oladipo sees the East as wide open, Pacers ready to do something special

Victor Oladipo is making his media rounds lately and appeared on ESPN’s morning show Get Up! to talk about a variety of topics including being traded twice, about the state of the Eastern Conference after LeBron James decided to go to Los Angeles and about that missed goaltending call in the playoffs.

Michelle Beadle, one of the hosts of the show, wanted to know what players in the East felt like when James, who has dominated the conference, decided to go to a Western Conference team.

“When I first heard about it, I was a little upset,” said Oladipo. “I like playing against the best player in the world and competing against him and seeing where you’re at.”

Despite Oladipo’s love of the competition, he does realize that this an opportunity for the team to take the next step.

Continue reading Victor Oladipo sees the East as wide open, Pacers ready to do something special

Report: Alex Poythress has been waived by the Indiana Pacers

In a bit of a surprise move before Summer League, the Indiana Pacers have waived Alex Poythress.

It’s unclear if he’ll still play for the Summer Pacers, but he’ll have extra motivation now as he’ll be auditioning for all 30 NBA teams.

Poythress played limited minutes after signing a 2-year deal on December last season. His contract was unguaranteed until later this month. The Pacers could have waited until after the games in Las Vegas to make a decision on his deal but decided to waive him now.

The Pacers could still bring him back on a 2-way deal like he started out last season.

Kyle O’Quinn agrees to 1-year deal with Indiana Pacers

According to multiple media reports, the Indiana Pacers have agreed to a 1-year, $4.5 million deal with center Kyle O’Quinn.

In 18 minutes per game last season, he averaged 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists with the New York Knicks.

It’s a surprising move at what looks like the Room Exception as O’Quinn played 99% of his minutes as a center last season according to Basketball Reference and the Pacers have two of those lined up with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis already.

Perhaps the Pacers will look to play him more at power forward this upcoming season. He could even split the backup minutes at power forward with TJ Leaf (if he’s ready to play) depending on the nightly matchup.

“Experienced” Pacers all have something to prove in Summer League

This season the Indiana Pacers start Summer League play Friday at 3:00. This will be the first time they play in Las Vegas as the each NBA team will be participating.

These exhibition games are basically meaningless but not without purpose, especially for the players with varying motivations: proving their worth as a recent draft pick, looking to show how much they’ve improved from their previous season, or just hoping to show they belong in the NBA whether with a roster spot, a 2-way contract or a training camp invite.

In this series of articles coming before Summer League begins for Indiana on Friday, we’ll take a look at many of the players on the roster and what they will be looking to prove in Sin City.

In part one, we looked at the rookies, Aaron Holiday and Alize Johnson, and what to watch for in their professional debuts.

Today, we look at the four players that were members of the Indiana Pacers last season: T.J. Leaf, Alex Poythress, Edmond Sumner and Ben Moore. All four of these players will be in the starting lineup joined by first-round pick Holiday and receive lots of minutes in Vegas. Ike Anigbogu will miss these exhibitions with an injury.

All of these guys have been working out in Indianapolis since the season ended and sound excited to show how they’ve improved and grown.

While it’s important to never overreact positively or negatively to anything that happens in these games, “veterans” in the summer league can make a difference in their careers in both bad and good ways:

  • Solomon Hill played so poorly in his third Summer League by seemingly blowing it off that it may have pushed the Pacers to decline his team option for the fourth season on his rookie contract. It ended up working out pretty well for Hill as he played the best basketball of his life the last few months of that season and hit free agency during the madness of 2016 and got a $50+ million deal from the Pelicans (He hasn’t looked good since joining New Orleans).
  • Glenn Robinson III played very well a few years ago in the Orlando Summer League and solidified his place in the rotation that season and had the best year of his career.
  • Donald Sloan and Rasual Butler both earned roster spots on the team and their auditions both started at the Summer League.

You want to see these guys play above the competition having had the experience of a full season with an NBA team.  Continue reading “Experienced” Pacers all have something to prove in Summer League

What do Aaron Holiday & Alize Johnson need to show during Summer League?

This season the Indiana Pacers will be playing in the Las Vegas Summer League for the first time, joining all the other 29 NBA teams as well.

These exhibition games are meaningless but not without purpose, especially for the players with varying motivations: proving their worth as a recent draft pick, looking to show how much they’ve improved from their previous season, or just hoping to show they belong in the NBA whether with a roster spot, a 2-way contract or a training camp invite.

In this series of articles coming before Summer League begins for Indiana on Friday, we’ll take a look at many of the players on the roster and what they will be looking to prove in Sin City.

For the Pacers 2018 draft picks, Aaron Holiday and Alize Johnson, this will be the first impresssion that many fans have of each player. Rookies are always the main attraction during Summer League so let’s start with them.

Continue reading What do Aaron Holiday & Alize Johnson need to show during Summer League?

Nate McMillan’s advice to Victor Oladipo: Be an A******

Victor Oladipo appeared on Sirius XM NBA Radio and had a conversation with Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson today and shared his experience with Indiana Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan.

“He was awesome,” said Oladipo when asked how good his coach was for him last year. “… He’s honest with me, but at the same time he holds me accountable, tells me what I need to do better.”

In one particular example, Oladipo said that after a road loss to the Detroit Pistons early in the season while they were watching film, Nate gave him some important advice.

“He said, ‘You want to be great?'” Oladipo said. “I said, ‘Of course.’ He was like, ‘Man, you got to become more of an a******. People got to hate being on the floor with you. People got to hate guarding you.'”

Continue reading Nate McMillan’s advice to Victor Oladipo: Be an A******

Reports: Tyreke Evans agrees to 1-year deal with the Indiana Pacers

It had been rumored for about the past 24 hours, but now it’s official: Tyreke Evans is coming to the Indiana Pacers.

The deal will be for one year and $12 million. Evans will give the Pacers the secondary playmaker that they desperately needed last season alongside Victor Oladipo.

Continue reading Reports: Tyreke Evans agrees to 1-year deal with the Indiana Pacers

Breaking down new Indiana Pacers forward Doug McDermott

The Indiana Pacers agreed to a 3-year deal Doug McDermott so quickly that free agency hadn’t even officially begun yet as Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news at 11:55 p.m.

McDermott, who will be on his fifth team in five seasons, will be reunited with a pair of former teammates: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, who thrived with the Pacers after struggling in their lone season with the Thunder as their roles didn’t fit their skill sets. Dougie McBuckets will look to do the same with the Pacers after having a very successful stint with the Mavericks to end last season, shooting nearly 50% from 3-point territory in 26 games.

So how will McDermott contribute to the Pacers? How will the Pacers utilize his shooting ability? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Let’s take a look. Continue reading Breaking down new Indiana Pacers forward Doug McDermott

Report: Al Jefferson has been waived

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.