Ben Moore

Pacers Re-Sign Ben Moore

The Pacers have officially re-signed forward Ben Moore to a new contract, per the NBA’s transactions log. Scott Agness of The Athletic first reported the agreement, tweeting that Moore was signing a one-year, partially guaranteed deal with Indiana.

Moore, who initially joined the Pacers last August as an undrafted free agent out of SMU, was waived before the regular season began, but later agreed to a two-way contract with the club.

The 23-year-old only appeared very briefly in two games for the Pacers, but had a solid year for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, averaging 11.7 PPG and 6.4 RPG with a .552/.352/.812 shooting line in 43 games (27.9 MPG). His two-way deal expired at season’s end.

While a return to Fort Wayne looks like the most probable outcome for Moore to open the 2018/19 season, the Pacers only have 14 players on guaranteed NBA contracts, with no obvious candidate to fill the 15th spot on their regular season roster. Unless the club intends to keep that final slot open to begin the year, Moore could compete to be Indiana’s 15th man.

Moore may also get an opportunity to earn some valuable non-NBA experience later this month, before the Pacers’ training camp gets underway. He’s one of 14 players vying for a spot on Team USA’s 12-man roster for the club’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay (September 14) and Panama (September 17).

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For September World Cup Qualifiers

Fourteen players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp beginning this Thursday, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. Of those 14 players, 12 will be named to Team USA’s roster for the club’s upcoming qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This set of games – the first window for the second round of qualifiers – will take place later this month. Team USA will face Uruguay on September 14, then play against Panama on September 17.

The following players will be vying for Team USA roster spots for these qualifying contests:

In the first round of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA was made up predominantly of G League players. That’s the case to some extent again this time, with guys like Hearn and Warney returning. However, many of the players this time around are currently under contract with NBA teams, including Bacon (Hornets), Ellenson (Pistons), Hicks (Knicks), Mason (Kings), Trice (Bucks), and White (Spurs).

“With our September second-round games marking the start of the most critical part of the World Cup Qualifying, I think it is imperative for us to look for players who possess mental fortitude, who are tough, and who have experience,” said Team USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “All of our second-round games are going to very, very difficult and competitive battles. Argentina, Panama and Uruguay are all really good and well coached.”

The second round of the World Cup qualifiers will take place over three windows of competition in September, November, and February. Team USA will play two games apiece vs. Argentina, Panama, and Uruguay during that stretch.

Having posted a 5-1 record during the first round of qualifiers, Team USA is tied for first with Argentina in Group E, which is made up of six teams. If Team USA remains in the top three of the Group E standings by the end of February’s games, the squad will qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in China next September.

Pacers Sign Ben Moore To Two-Way Contract

12:57pm: The Pacers have officially signed Moore to a two-way contract, the club announced today in a press release.

9:02am: The Pacers will fill their open two-way slot by signing former SMU forward Ben Moore, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Moore will slide into the two-way opening created last month when Indiana signed two-way player Alex Poythress to a standard NBA contract.

Moore, 22, initially joined the Pacers as an undrafted rookie last summer, participating in training camp with the club before being waived at the end of the preseason. Moore joined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s G League team, as an affiliate player, and has appeared in 24 games for the club this season, averaging 11.0 PPG and 6.6 RPG.

On his new two-way deal, Moore figures to continue to spend most of his time with the Mad Ants, but the agreement will also make him eligible to see some action with the NBA team in Indiana. Moore will be a limited to a prorated portion of the standard 45-day NBA limit, which should work out to 23 days.

The Pacers were one of seven teams with an open slot for a two-way player. Those other six clubs will have until January 15 to fill their openings.

Pacers Waive Three Players

A busy Saturday on the NBA transactions wire continues, with the Pacers announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived training camp invitees DeQuan Jones, Trey McKinney-Jones, and Ben Moore.

The series of roster moves for the Pacers should set up the club for the regular season, barring any further transactions. Indiana is currently carrying the maximum 17 players — 15 on NBA contracts and two on two-way deals.

With no additional cuts necessary, two players without fully guaranteed contracts – Jarrod Uthoff and Damien Wilkins – appears poised to open the season with the Pacers.

As for the three players who are now on waivers, McKinney-Jones is a veteran of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and seems like a good bet to return to the Pacers’ G League squad. Moore may also end up there as an affiliate player, but it’s not clear if Jones will land in Fort Wayne — he previously played for the Reno Bighorns in the G League, and I believe Reno still holds his returning rights.

Pacers Sign Ben Moore To Camp Deal

AUGUST 15: Nearly two full months after Moore’s agreement with the Pacers was initially reported, the team has announced the deal, making it official. According to the Pacers, Moore isn’t expected to break camp with the club — he’ll be an affiliate player for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s G League affiliate.

JUNE 23: The Pacers have reached an agreement on a free agent deal with former SMU power forward Ben Moore, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter). Woo reports that Moore’s contract with Indiana will feature a partial guarantee.

International basketball journalist David Pick had initially reported that Moore would be joining the Grizzlies on a partially guaranteed deal, but later tweeted an update, confirming that the 22-year-old had opted for Indiana over Memphis.

Moore, ranked as 2017’s No. 38 senior prospect by DraftExpress, averaged 11.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 1.1 BPG during his final year at SMU. When he finalizes his partially guaranteed deal with the Pacers, he figures to be part of the team’s 20-man roster in training camp, and could have a chance to compete for a regular season roster spot.

Moore is the third SMU prospect to find a new NBA home this week, joining teammates Semi Ojeleye and Sterling Brown, who were both second-round picks on Thursday.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Kerr, Draft, Warriors, Kings

Stephen Curry was more valuable to the Warriors offensively this season than Kevin Durant, writes Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. In a fascinating piece about the relative value of the pair, Pelton points to Curry’s passing ability and the game-changing effect his lethal three-point shooting has on drawing defenders. As a result, ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM) views Curry as having been far more valuable than Durant this season. However, the writer does allow for Durant’s already high value improving next season and beyond. Adjustments were constantly being made during KD’s first year on the team.

Here’s more from the Pacific division:

  • Although the Warriors presently lack a pick in this week’s draft, the team held a pre-draft workout on Tuesday, tweets Jeremy Woo. According to Woo, the participants were Canyon Barry (Florida), Sterling Brown (SMU), Chance Comanche (Arizona), Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Ben Moore (SMU), and Tai Webster (Nebraska).
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will be given time off throughout the summer to explore options for alleviating his back problems, according to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press“I think at the point we’re at now, it’s what makes you 5-10-15 percent better? And that’s what he’s going to pursue and explore with our blessing,” GM Bob Myers said.
  • In the wake of Chris Granger‘s resignation Monday as president of the Kings, Ailene Voison of The Sacramento Bee explains why the departure signifies a major loss to both the franchise and the community. Golden 1 Center stands as Granger’s crowning achievement as Kings president. About Granger, team owner Vivek Ranadive said, “I’m really sad Chris is leaving, but when I recruited him, I also knew it wasn’t going to be forever. He built the arena. He stayed a year (afterward). I told him, ‘I’d like to keep you, but I also understand you don’t want to be selling sponsorships your whole life.’ He’s a big time guy.”
  • The Kings‘ top priority should be to find a point guard to grow their nucleus around, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Each team in the Pacific division is stacked at point guard, except for the Kings, who have Darren Collison and Ty Lawson, both free agents. Jones suggests that the team draft its point guard of the future, with many talented floor generals available, even if De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky) is drafted before the Kings pick at No. 5.

Central Notes: Cavs, Pacers, Pistons, Bucks

Since the Cavaliers fell to Golden State earlier this week in the NBA Finals, there has been a ton of speculation about how the Cavs should respond this summer, and the idea of acquiring Pacers forward Paul George in a trade involving Kevin Love has been a popular one.

There are no reports at this point suggesting that either team is considering such a deal, but Ben Golliver of SI.com makes the case that a Love/George would make a lot of sense for both the Cavaliers and Pacers. Golliver argues that Cleveland would get a badly-needed perimeter defender to combat Kevin Durant, while Indiana would land an impact player in his own right and could avoid embarking on a lengthy rebuilding process.

While Golliver’s piece is an interesting one, I’m less inclined to believe that the move would be in the Pacers’ best interests. The club isn’t yet at a point where it needs to trade George to avoid losing him for nothing. Even if and when that time comes, Indiana may prefer to move him for a package that includes picks and/or young players, rather than for a pricey veteran like Love.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

Eastern Draft Notes: Knicks, Smith, Hornets, Bulls

Former North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is in town to work out for the Knicks, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets that the workout will take place tomorrow.

Smith, who was previously said to have a tentative session lined up with New York, has frequently been mentioned as a potential target for the club at No. 8. By that point, top point guards like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and De’Aaron Fox will almost certainly be off the board, but Smith may still be available, and the Knicks are in the market for a point guard of the future.

Here are a few more draft-related notes from around the Eastern Conference:

Central Notes: Pistons, Valentine, Bucks, Pacers

Having remained at No. 12 after Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, the Pistons are scouting a wide range of prospects and won’t necessarily target a player at a position of need next month, per GM Jeff Bower (link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News). As Bower explained, a player’s value and long-term potential may make him the best pick for Detroit, even if he doesn’t immediately fit into the team’s rotation.

Our list of draft picks by team shows that the Pistons’ 12th overall selection is currently their only pick in this year’s draft. That could make it difficult for the club to bring in second-round prospects for workouts, but Bower remains hopeful that those players will be willing to audition for the team, recognizing that they could be undrafted free agents, or that the Pistons could acquire a second-round pick.

“Some guys aren’t going to want to come in and work out if they don’t see a vehicle at the end of it,” said the Pistons’ GM. “The reality of it is we are looking for guys where we don’t have a second-round pick now — we could (via a trade) — but those possibilities change, so you want to try to be prepared. … Our relationships with agents are strong. They like our program and like their guys to have the exposure to us.”

Here’s more from around the Central division: