Pacers Sign Kyle O’Quinn

JULY 9: The Pacers have published a tweet welcoming O’Quinn to the team, signaling that the signing is now official.

JULY 6: The Pacers have reached a contract agreement with free agent center Kyle O’Quinn, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that O’Quinn will sign a one-year, $4.5MM deal with Indiana.

O’Quinn, 28, enjoyed the most productive season of his career in 2017/18, establishing new career highs in PPG (7.1), RPG (6.1), FG% (.582), and several other categories in 77 games (18.0 MPG) for the Knicks. Coming off a successful year in New York, O’Quinn was one of the few veterans in the NBA who turned down a player option for 2018/19.

That player option was worth approximately $4.26MM, so O’Quinn appears poised to exceed that salary on his new deal with the Pacers. Based on the reported terms, it appears that Indiana will use its room exception, worth $4.449MM, to finalize its deal with the veteran center after using up the rest of its cap space.

The Pacers have been busy this week, striking a three-year, $22MM deal with sharpshooting forward Doug McDermott early in free agency, then agreeing to terms on a one-year, $12MM pact for Tyreke Evans. Those two deals are expected to eat up just about all of Indiana’s cap space, but even after using their room exception on O’Quinn, the club will able to add minimum-salary players.

Before reaching an agreement with the Pacers, O’Quinn reportedly met with the Clippers and drew interest from the Sixers and Pelicans.

In Indiana, O’Quinn will join a talented and versatile frontcourt that features Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Thaddeus Young, and T.J. Leaf. With Al Jefferson and Trevor Booker no longer in the mix, there should be a regular rotation role available for O’Quinn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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26 thoughts on “Pacers Sign Kyle O’Quinn

  1. iangroc

    Indiana quietly picking up solid, productive vets on the relatively cheap, and adding a tough rooks like Aaron Holiday and Alize Johnson. Great off-season.

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    • iangroc

      Theoretically replaced Bogdanovic, Lance, and Al Jefferson with Tyreke, McDermott, and O’Quinn.

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  2. ralph macchio

    Loving these moves by Indiana. They have built a Celtics-like collegiate environment and added ‘program-first’ team players. They’ve drastically upgraded by swapping Lance for Tyreke, Al Jefferson for O’Quinn, and added depth with Holiday in the draft. All on one year deals, maintaining their massive cap space next offseason. The one mistake I think they made was signing McDermott to a 3 year deal…that strikes me as unecessary in this free agency of limited cap space. Maybe he will thrive in their offense, though.

    If Myles Turner finally develops, the Pacers have an outside chance to win the East, since Boston & Philly both have core players with a tendency to get injured. You never know.

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    • utlchp

      Good assessment. I agree and was a bit surprised by the 3 year deal for McDermott. However, Bogdanovic will be gone after this season, and they need depth at the 3. Not saying McDermott will ever start (he won’t) but a little stability and depth at every position is a must.

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    • McDermott shot 49% from 3 in Dallas. Remember his Creighton protege is Kyle Korver! Google Myles Turner and see what he looks like since he’s been working out. Major difference!

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  3. old_cheapy_fred

    Glad KO found a spot. In retrospect, I’m sure he wished he had opted in. But hopefully this will end up working out for him. Indiana gets a real bargain here, even in a tough market for backup bigs.

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      • He’s a NYC guy, grew up/lives/strong family ties here. It’s business, and he out played his contract, so he had to opt out, but it wasn’t out of a desire to join another team.

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  4. Myles Turner has been doing yoga and boxing to get a lot stronger. Rebounding was a problem last season. I think O Quinn signed for their mid level exception.

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  5. all in ad

    Shout out to new Pacers GM! Starting last year, his moves have been solid and the roster is better. Larry Legend made some dumb moves…Kawhe for George Hill….for instance. Go Pacers!!!! IU will be better too!!!

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  6. South_Side757

    I really wish they would sign Marcus Smart. Then the East would be theirs!
    They get a “B” for the offseason, so far. Signing Smart would move them to a solid “A”.

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    • They have no cap space or other means of doing that. They could try for S&T, but there’d have be matching salaries and enough in it for Boston.

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  7. padam

    I wonder how O’Quinn feels that McDermott got what he was looking for, even though he had a better year and wasn’t cut.

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  8. formerlyz

    I felt like he could get a bigger role somewhere else. I guess this puts him behind Turner and Sabonis. He should end up seeing time at the 5 b/c of his defense and passing

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  9. Good signing. Just surprised as Indiana has got Turner/Sabonis, I know HC said he wants to play them together, but I cannot see much of a role left for KOQ, I thing he could have gone to a team where he could be the 2nd option, like Philly, I think his role would be bigger, & also his playoff run would be longer, as he would be in a better team, so seems to be a bit of an odd choice for KOQ.

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  10. Signing a 1 year contract means that Oladipo, Holiday, and McDermott will be only Pacers not eligible for restricted, unrestricted free agents or team option free agents. That will be interesting with Turner being restricted and Sabonis is extension eligible. Kevin Pritchard has said he’d like to play Sabonis and Turner together 25-30 minutes a night to save the Pacers money next summer (won’t have to pay Turner, Sabonis, and Thaddeus Young). The Pacers had to use Al Jefferson last year when Turner or Sabonis were injured. That’s why they have O’Quinn.

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    • Sabonis’ is on rookie scale, so his 4th year option has to be picked up before this (his 3rd) season. Turner is a keeper and will either be extended before the season or in the first days of FA next summer.

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  11. x%sure

    Oquinn deserved better. Since Turner and Sabonis will likely be prioritized and re-upped, this is just a 1year detour for him.
    He better start dieting– the minutes available may be at forward!

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    • jroseka

      Sabonis can play the 4 at times so maybe he’ll pair with Oquinn at times?

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      • x%sure

        They want a well-paid talented Turner/Sabonis starting duo longterm. Hasn’t worked yet though.

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  12. O’Quinn will be used as backup at center when Sabonis is used at forward. O’Quinn is the Pacers only backup center when Sabonis is used st forward.

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    • The idea is to use Sabonis at power forward so they won’t have to re sign Thaddeus Young next summer.

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