5:03pm: The Pacers have officially waived Christmas, per the NBA’s transactions log.
10:17am: In his full story on Christmas’ pending release, Agness clarifies that the forward’s salary would have become guaranteed if he remained under contract beyond July 6, which is why the team is making the move today.
Christmas, 25, made his NBA debut for the Pacers in 2015/16, then appeared in 29 regular season games for the team last season. Christmas saw limited minutes in those games, averaging 2.0 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 7.6 minutes per contest.
Christmas’ 2017/18 salary, worth the minimum, was reportedly only guaranteed for $50K, per Basketball Insiders, so the Pacers will clear most of it from their cap. The 6’9″ forward’s full salary was scheduled to become guaranteed on August 1.
The Pacers waived Monta Ellis on Wednesday, stretching his contract in order to create nearly $9MM in cap room for 2017/18. The team also renounced its free agent rights to Aaron Brooks, Lavoy Allen, and Jeff Teague, per RealGM’s transactions log.
Teague has a deal lined up with Minnesota, so that move isn’t a surprise, but there didn’t seem to be any pressing need to renounce Brooks or Allen. There also was no apparent rush to cut Christmas quite yet, so it’s possible the Pacers have a move or two up their sleeves with their newly-expanded cap room.