4:40pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
4:17pm: The Pacers have signed Price, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), though the team has yet to make any public announcement.
11:06am: Price is expected to sign with Indiana, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), so it appears the deal with Mekel is likely off.
10:22am: The Pacers would be likely to sign A.J. Price if the visa issues holding up the team’s deal with Gal Mekel derail that signing, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Indiana is “determined” to have a point guard on the roster in time for Friday’s game against the Celtics, as George Hill, C.J. Watson and Rodney Stuckey all deal with injuries. The NBA has given the Pacers a hardship provision to add a 16th player because of their injuries, but that provision expires after today, and it appears there’s a decent chance that Mekel’s visa won’t be ready until Friday, as Stein wrote earlier.
Price became a free agent earlier this week after the Cavs waived him over the weekend. The sixth-year veteran was on Cleveland’s roster for opening night after making the team on a non-guaranteed contract, but the Cavs opted to quickly replace him with Raptors camp cut Will Cherry. Price, who was as a member of the Pacers for the first three years of his NBA career, spent last season with the Timberwolves and saw just 3.5 minutes per game across 28 appearances. That was the first time that he didn’t average at least 12.9 MPG since the Pacers plucked him out of the University of Connecticut with the 52nd overall pick in 2009.
Indiana has the ability to sign a 16th player thanks to the injuries to Hill, Watson, Stuckey, Paul George and David West, though Stuckey’s sore left foot doesn’t seem likely to keep him out of action for long. To qualify for the hardship provision, teams must have at least four players who have missed three games already, and an independent physician must determine that they’re going to continue to miss time. The Pacers also have a $5.305MM disabled player exception at their disposal because George is expected to miss the entire season, but it’s unlikely they’ll need any more than the minimum salary to secure Price.