Pacers Sign Damjan Rudez

July 11 at 10:31am CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 11TH: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

“Damjan is one of the best shooters in Europe,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said. “With his size and knowledge, he can play two positions for us. He has experience, maturity and really knows how to play. He had a number of options, he chose us and we’re thrilled he did. We look forward to having him in a Pacer uniform.”

JULY 2ND: 2:43pm: Rudez will make $1.1MM next season, multiple sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter links). That together with the team’s other deals puts the Pacers about $5MM below the projected luxury tax line, Lowe estimates.

11:08am: Deeks confirms Scola’s salary is now roughly 50% guaranteed for this season, though the precise guarantee remains unclear (Twitter link).

10:27am: The move will not affect Scola’s status, as he remains in the team’s plans, a source tells Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter links). Buckner cites Scola as having a $2.5MM partial guarantee, and while Mark Deeks of ShamSports lists that guarantee at $940,946, he adds that it’s subject to increase via bonus clauses. It’s not clear whether those bonuses have taken effect, but Buckner seems to suggest they have.

9:47am: The Pacers have reached agreement on a three-year deal with Spanish league power forward Damjan Rudez, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Rudez will receive a portion of the club’s $5.305MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception, while the team hopes to use the rest of it on C.J. Miles as it pursues the Cavs swingman, according to Wojnarowski.

Indiana was among several teams reportedly interested in the 27-year-old Rudez as of last month. The Raptors, Jazz and Cavs were also in the mix, and Cleveland was apparently working toward a deal with him. He put on quite a shooting display and felt comfortable at a Cleveland mini-camp recently, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. Rudez, variously listed at 6’8″ and 6’10″, was only a part-time starter for CAI Zaragoza this past season, but his 47.3% three-point shooting on 4.1 attempts per game is surely what had teams so excited.

The timing of the deal is curious considering the report from earlier this morning that talks with Lance Stephenson had struck an impasse. Indiana has limited flexibility beneath the projected $77MM tax line, one which the franchise has made a point of not crossing. The addition of another power forward with such tight finances might spell the end of Luis Scola‘s time in Indiana, since his salary of more than $4.868MM is only guaranteed for less than $1MM.

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