7:18pm: The four cuts are now official, according to a press release from the Pacers.
3:15pm: The Pacers are waiving Duane Washington and using the waive-and-stretch provision on Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan and Nik Stauskas in order to create the necessary cap space to sign Deandre Ayton to a maximum-salary offer sheet, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
Washington, 22, went undrafted last year after three college seasons with Ohio State. He signed a two-way contract with the Pacers and had a productive rookie season, appearing in 48 games (20.2 MPG) while averaging 9.9 PPG, 1.7 RPG and 1.8 APG on .404/.377/.754 shooting. More than half of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.
Washington received a promotion at the end of the season when his two-way deal was converted to a standard contract, but his salary for next season was non-guaranteed. He and the team previously agreed to push back his guarantee date from July 6 until July 15, so he’ll be released one day in advance of that deadline.
Fitts, Morgan and Stauskas were all sent to Indiana for salary-matching purposes as part of the trade that saw Malcolm Brogdon head to Boston. Each of the three players received significant guarantees on their minimum-salary contracts in order to complete the trade, but obviously none of them were part of Indiana’s long-term plans.
The stretch provision allows teams to pay players they waive over multiple years. In this case, the three salaries will be spread out over three seasons, because they were all waived between July 1 and August 31 and only had one year on their contracts.
Of the four players being waived, Washington seems like the best bet to immediately find a new team, whether it’s via waiver claim or a new deal after clearing waivers. Despite being a rookie, he had the most productive season in 2021/22, even if it was due in part to Indiana’s disappointing season that saw the team finish with a 25-57 record.
33 thoughts on “Pacers Waive Duane Washington, Three Others”
All this so Phoenix can just match their offer. Washington will probably get a minimum or two way contract so he can return to Indiana, Stauskas, Morgan, and fitts don’t have any shot at being back. Suns are gonna match
The only reason stauskus fits and Morgan had their contracts guaranteed is so they could be a part of the trade for brogdon. Free 2M for a three of them.
The Pacers would have to waive them anyway because they need to cut down their roster amount after the Brogdon trade.
They’ll turn around and offer stupid money to Bridges of that happens.
Lol. Bridges is poison no way that happens
Phoenix isn’t matching. Sorry.
Well they’re not letting him walk for nothing and Indiana doesn’t seem inclined to help the Suns out here so yes Phoenix will be matching. This story is over until Jan 15th and likely until next offseason being as Ayton would have the option to veto any trade this year
Their owner won’t pony up the money to go that deep into the lux tax and the Pacers know it. We’ll see, but I’d be shocked if they match.
Phoenix just matched
Them matching isn’t the point, this was done to facilitate a sign and trade.
No it wasn’t lol have you not read the articles. If it was a sign and trade they wouldn’t need to waive anyone just trade someone
Once he signs an offer sheet there can’t be a sign and trade
Nope. Offer has been signed. There can be no S&T anymore.
Correction, apparently there is still 3 hours before he signs the thing. But the Suns beat reporter says there are no conversations and Indy is not interested in a trade.
Lakers should claim Washington. They severely lack young talent.
Lakers have 7 players with 3 years or less experience on their roster… but only 3 PGs, which is disturbing, since that implies Westbrook is still a PG.
Cavs should take Duane, since they need another backup for most of the year, and because they skipped Buckeyes Branham & Liddell in the draft.
Or they could sign Sexton.
hmmm….Should the NBA make a rule that requires/allows these moves be done only if the contract is not matched. Make the deals stated in the NBA office and announced to the media but not official until the matching is turned down.
In this case, give the Pacers five/ten minutes to make the transactions after the the Suns match. this way players don’t get dropped if they don’t need to beJust an idea.
No. Part of the risk. Makes it interesting
There’s no risk. None of those guys would play anyway if the Pacers are even somewhat healthy.
The risk was Indiana trading for three dudes that had next to zero chance of making the Celtics this year. Stauskus played around 13 minutes for the Celtics last year.
Stauskus played like 13 minutes and got paid enough to retire on.
Fitts 25 minutes or so.
Morgan played 4 minutes for Boston.
So the risk is paying 6M for three guys whole played around 40 minutes all last season.
You know they only took those guys because they had to for salary matching purposes, right? Paying some spare parts a few million dollars was just the cost of doing business with the Brogdon trade
Maybe, if they wanted to encourage offer sheets. Most of the current rules were developed in an environment where the idea was to stop the practice of teams signing other teams’ RFAs to disingenuous offer sheets, that were designed to either drive up the price or to kick start S&T discussions (which used to be permitted after the offer sheet was submitted right up to the deadline for matching).
Another nba rule I misunderstood. For some reason I thought a team could only use the stretch provision on 1 player per year. Kinda believed it was actually every 3 years (once the previous player’s stretch was up).
Could be because of how rare the Bucks have used it.
You might be thinking of the old amnesty clause but I’m not sure
That’s possible. I can’t even think of the player’s name I thought they had used it on…
Played C, and I believe some emotional and drug issues led to the move. Attempted at least 1 comeback..want to say with Cleveland but not sure on that either.
Yeah, probably him. I think the Bucks did amnesty a guy before Larry but I don’t remember his name either.
Drew Gooden Calvin Booth
link to hoopshabit.com
link to sbnation.com
Yup, Sanders. Christian Wood was the name in my head, and I knew it wasn’t him.
You can stretch as many players as you want, just screws up your cap eventually
@ironman- so it’s similar to an nfl team releasing a player and taking a cap hit (only it’s 3 years instead of 1..)?
What salaries are they on the hook for in Stauskas, Fitts and Morgan?
Why would they use the stretch provision?
Wouldnt they be able to find a home for one of the three? Cant they ship them off for cash considerations for example? Cant they wait to see if the players can still be used in a Durant-trade or Irving trade? Or by when do they need to get waived?
I find it ridiculous that players get part of their salary guaranteed, just for salary matching purposes. Why dont they just remove salary matching rules? Would make things much easier…
Is this the end of Sauce Castillo in the NBA?
He’ll probably be finishing his career internationally. Hate to see him go.
link to deadspin.com
Juwan Morgan can give teams defense at the 4, and Stauskas can be a useful wing shooter, especially for teams with defenders around him. He looked good in the small sample size for the Heat last year during the covid situation when Duncan Robinson was out, and I thought he played well during the couple of small opportunities he got in the playoffs, which I thought should have been more
Essentially they’re going to put Phoenix in a position where they probably are going to end up matching b/c of their cap situation, even if Ayton isnt actually worth the price at all. It makes sense, and for Phoenix, they probably explore sign and trade options, but it’s hard to see a fit around the league, especially at the price he was looking for, so you end up in this position where you mostly have to match. I do think they could have been fine without him, but there also isnt that many options currently in FA this late