The Pacers have picked up the third-year option on Domantas Sabonis‘ rookie contract, locking him up for the 2018/19 season, the team announced today in a press release. The Pacers also belatedly confirmed that they’ve exercised Myles Turner‘s option, a transaction we noted back in August.
Sabonis, the 11th overall pick in the 2016 draft, has been part of two trades since entering the league. On draft night in 2016, the Magic sent his rights to Oklahoma City as part of a package for Serge Ibaka, and a little over a year later, the Thunder dealt him to Indiana along with Victor Oladipo in exchange for Paul George.
In his rookie season with the Thunder, Sabonis was a regular part of the club’s rotation, starting 66 of his 81 games. The 21-year-old power forward averaged 5.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 20.1 minutes per contest.
By exercising Sabonis’ third-year team option, the Pacers ensure that the Gonzaga product will count against their cap for $2,659,800 in 2018/19. Indiana will have to decide on Sabonis’ 2019/20 option during next year’s offseason. Assuming that option is exercised as well, the big man would become extension-eligible during the summer of 2019, and would be on track for restricted free agency in 2020.