2:12pm: A few hours after signing him, the Pacers have waived Bentil, the team announced in a press release. Indiana’s roster is now back to 15 players, making it regular-season-ready.
12:16pm: Pacers head coach Nate McMillan confirmed that Bentil is expected to join Indiana’s D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, tweets Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com.
10:26am: After getting down to 15 players over the weekend, the Pacers are back up to 16, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed rookie forward Ben Bentil to a contract. Indiana’s interest in Bentil was reported late on Saturday night by Mark Porcaro.
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The 51st overall pick in this year’s draft, Bentil averaged 21.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG at Providence last season, and signed a three-year contract with the Celtics as one of the team’s six draft picks. Although he received a strong partial guarantee of $250K from Boston, Bentil always seemed to be on the outside looking in with the Celtics, who had a crowded roster this fall. He was waived by the C’s on Friday, and a report indicated he’d look to sign with another NBA team rather than joining Boston’s D-League affiliate.
While it’s possible the Pacers will keep Bentil on their 15-man roster and cut someone else with a guaranteed salary, it’s far more likely that the club will waive the 21-year-old later today and assign him to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. With that $250K guarantee from the Celtics in hand, Bentil can afford to spend some time in the D-League, especially if he sees a potential path to a call-up.