Brian Bowen

Pacers Sign Amida Brimah, Waive Brian Bowen

11:57am: Brimah has officially signed his two-way deal with the Pacers, the team announced in a press release. He won’t have to go through a quarantine period and will be available for the team’s game on Saturday vs. Detroit, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic.

As first reported by J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter) and confirmed by the Pacers, Bowen has been waived to open up a spot for Brimah. The 22-year-old forward, who has spent the last two seasons on a two-way deal with Indiana, logged a total of just 46 minutes in 12 games for the team since the start of 2019/20.


9:37am: Following a series of injuries to their frontcourt players, the Pacers are adding some depth. Free agent center Amida Brimah is signing a two-way contract with Indiana, agent Daniel Hazan tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Brimah, who went undrafted out of UConn in 2017, has never appeared in an NBA regular season game despite signing Exhibit 10 contracts with NBA teams for four consecutive years — two with the Spurs (2017 and 2018) and two with the Pacers (2019 and 2020).

The 27-year-old big man had a brief stint with a Serbian club in 2018 but has otherwise spent his professional career in the G League, most recently averaging 8.0 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 2.6 RPG in 10 games (23.5 MPG) for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in this season’s NBAGL bubble.

Brimah is known for his rim-protecting abilities — he was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and made the G League All-Defensive team in 2018. And despite never playing an NBA game, he has some championship experience, having won an NCAA title with UConn in ’14 and a G League title with the Austin Spurs in ’18.

The banged-up Pacers are currently missing Myles Turner (toe), Domantas Sabonis (back), and Goga Bitadze (ankle), so there could be a path to immediate minutes for Brimah, depending on when he officially signs and when Sabonis and Bitadze are ready to return.

Indiana will have to waive one of its current two-way players to make room for Brimah. Brian Bowen is probably a likelier release candidate than 2020 second-rounder Cassius Stanley, but we’ll have to see what the Pacers have in mind.

Central Notes: Prince, Cavaliers, Pacers, Bulls

Cavaliers forward Taurean Prince is proving to be more than a simple throw-in player in the multi-team trade featuring Jarrett Allen, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes.

Prince, 26, was acquired by Cleveland alongside Allen earlier this month. The five-year veteran has been effective in his five games with the team, averaging 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 41% from downtown.

“He fits the mold of what we’re looking for,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We’re looking for guys who can play multiple positions, guys who have the ability to knock down shots, who have athleticism, who can run the floor. And then on the defensive end, guys who take 1-on-1 challenges and compete.

“It’s how he’s willing to work, the toughness that he plays with, the scrap that he has. We’ve seen that from him in the past. But I’ve been even more pleased having him every single day with how he makes his teammates better, how unselfish he is. We’re definitely glad to have him.”

There’s more from the Central Division today:

Pacers’ Warren, Bowen Sidelined With Injuries

The Pacers announced today in a press release that forward T.J. Warren is being considered week-to-week due to right foot plantar fasciitis.

Warren, one of the stars of the NBA’s Walt Disney World bubble during the summer restart, was also being affected by plantar fasciitis in his right foot at that time. The fact that it continues to bother him isn’t a great sign. However, after he was able to play through the injury over the summer, the Pacers may simply be playing it safe this time around in an attempt to ensure it doesn’t become a longer-term issue.

Meanwhile, the Pacers also announced in today’s release that small forward Brian Bowen II will miss approximately six to eight weeks as a result of a partial groin tear.

Bowen didn’t project to be a regular part of Indiana’s rotation this season after having signed a two-way contract in November. However, his injury will still reduce the team’s depth on the wing with the regular season around the corner.

On the positive side, as a two-way player, Bowen would have been limited to 50 regular season games in 2020/21 anyway. If he’s sidelined for a full eight weeks, the Pacers will have just 49 games remaining in their season when he returns, meaning they won’t have to worry about those limitations for Bowen down the stretch.

Pacers Sign Guards Cassius Stanley, Naz Mitrou-Long

The Pacers have finalized agreements with two guards, signing rookie Cassius Stanley to a two-way contract and Naz Mitrou-Long to an Exhibit 10 deal, according to a press release on the team’s official site.
Indiana selected Stanley with the No. 54 pick in the 2020 draft out of Duke. The 6’6″ guard started all of his 29 games during his lone season with Duke in 2019/20, averaging 12.6 PPG and 4.9 RPG, while converting on 36% of his 3.0 long-range attempts a night. After two seasons with the Jazz, Mitrou-Long appeared in five games for the Pacers last season, averaging 9.4 MPG.
The announcement also confirmed several other previously-reported signings. Forward JaKarr Sampson will return for his second season with Indiana on a fully-guaranteed veteran’s minimum deal. Wing Kelan Martin, formerly with the Timberwolves, will join the Pacers on a two-year deal, though the speculation is that it will not be fully-guaranteed.
Forward Brian Bowen II, who suited up for six games with the Pacers last season, will occupy the club’s second two-way player contract slot alongside Stanley.
Mitrou-Long joins center Amida Brimah and forward Rayshaun Hammonds as the Pacers with Exhibit 10 contracts. All three will join the team for training camp, with an opportunity to make the club’s opening night roster. These are one-year, minimum salary deals that can carry an optional player bonus ranging from $5K to $50K.

Pacers Sign Brian Bowen To Two-Way Contract

NOVEMBER 28: Bowen’s two-way deal has been finalized, according to RealGM’s log of official transactions.


NOVEMBER 27: The Pacers made Brian Bowen an unrestricted free agent, then decided to bring him back.

Bowen will return to Indiana on a two-way deal, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Indiana didn’t extend a qualifying offer to Bowen prior to free agency after he played his rookie season on a two-way deal.

The small forward appeared in just six games with the Pacers last season. He averaged 16.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG in 29 games with the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Bowen played professionally in Australia during the 2018/19 season for the Sydney Kings before going undrafted.

Indiana has its other two-way spot available. Check out our Two-Way Contract Tracker for the latest updates.

QO Updates: Wanamaker, Hernangomez, Fall, Chiozza, More

The Celtics won’t be making a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The decision will ensure that Wanamaker becomes an unrestricted free agent on Friday, rather than an RFA.

The decision is a little surprising, as Wanamaker’s QO would only have been worth about $1.82MM. And he was a fairly reliable bench contributor in Boston in 2019/20, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.5 APG on .448/.363/.926 shooting in 71 games (19.3 MPG). However, with Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard entering the mix, the Celtics don’t have a ton of roster spots to go around.

There’s still a chance that Wanamaker could return to the Celtics, particularly if Gordon Hayward ends up elsewhere, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Here are several more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves, as expected, tendered a qualifying offer to power forward Juan Hernangomez, making him a restricted free agent, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That QO is worth about $4.6MM. Hernangomez could accept it, but is more likely to try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal with Minnesota.
  • The Celtics extended qualifying offers to both of their two-way players, Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters, the team announced in a press release. Those QOs are for new two-way deals with $50K guarantees.
  • The Pacers won’t extend qualifying offers to big man Alize Johnson or two-way players Brian Bowen and Naz Mitrou-Long, tweets Scotto. All three players will become unrestricted free agents.
  • Among other two-way players, Nets guard Chris Chiozza will receive a qualifying offer, but Pelicans guard Josh Gray won’t, according to Scotto (Twitter links). The Heat also won’t send a QO to two-way player Kyle Alexander, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Central Notes: Mitrou-Long, Markkanen, Griffin, Drummond

Injuries have thrust Pacers two-way players Naz Mitrou-Long and Brian Bowen into action more than anticipated in the early going, Mark Monteith of the team’s website notes. Backcourt injuries forced Indiana to play Mitrou-Long 14 minutes on Saturday one night after he scored 28 points for its G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Bowen made a five-minute appearance in the loss to Milwaukee.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen hasn’t reached the 20-point mark since scoring 35 points in the season opener and shooting guard Zach LaVine is looking to change that, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “He just doesn’t seem in rhythm right now man. It’s a new offense. And I think it has a part to do with it,” LaVine said. “We’ve just got to help him find it.”
  • Injuries to Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose have contributed greatly to the Pistons’ 4-9 start. With some days off and both stars back in action, coach Dwane Casey is hoping to get things back on track, Keith Langlois of the team’s website writes. “We’ve got three or four days we can practice,” he said. “Before, there was one day in between.  … Sounds like an excuse. But it’s going to take a while for our guys to jell together, work together, learn each other. With Blake and Derrick back, for them to learn each other. It’s going to be a marathon.”
  • The Pistons will have to consider drastic changes if they don’t break the cycle of mediocrity soon, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. The trade for Griffin hasn’t resulted in a huge uptick in the team’s fortunes, Beard continues. Andre Drummond, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, hasn’t impacted winning significantly enough to warrant another long-term deal in many people’s minds, Beard adds.

Pacers Agree To Deal With Sumner; Sign Bowen, Gant, Wilcox

Guard Edmond Sumner has agreed to a three-year contract to stay with the Pacers, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The third year will be a team option, Scott Agness of The Athletic tweets.

Sumner appeared in 23 games last season, averaging 2.9 PPG in 9.1 MPG. He has a $1.8MM cap hold, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, which is factored into the team’s $5MM of remaining cap space. Indiana can keep the hold in place, use the remaining room and then officially sign Sumner.

The Pacers declined his $1.6MM team option but tendered a qualifying offer to the former second-round pick to make him a restricted free agent.

We have more on the Pacers:

  • Forward Brian Bowen II has signed a two-way contract, according to a team press release. Bowen played professionally in Australia during the 2018/19 season for the Sydney Kings. He averaged 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 30 games. Bowen, 20, went undrafted. He was ruled ineligible to play last season by the NCAA after a recruiting scandal at Louisville.
  • Forward Jakeenan Gant and guard C.J. Wilcox were signed to Exhibit 10  contracts. Gant played for Louisiana-Lafayette and was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference. He averaged 20.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 2.7 BPG in his senior year. Wilcox was on a two-way contract with the Pacers last summer before suffering a torn right Achilles tendon prior to training camp. He was a late first-round pick for the Clippers in 2014 and played in G League during the 2017-18 season.
  • Bowen’s and Gant’s deals with Indiana were previously reported in June.

Pacers Adding Brian Bowen, Jakeenan Gant

Brian Bowen, who played in Australia last season with the Sydney Kings, will join the Pacers on a two-way contract, tweets Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. Indiana is also signing Jakeenan Gant of Louisiana to an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bowen will opt out of the second year of his Australian contract to come to the NBA, tweets Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. The former McDonald’s All-American went overseas after the NCAA declared him ineligible in the wake of a recruiting scandal at Louisville. He declared for the draft last year, but withdrew before the deadline.

Bowen worked out for the Pacers last month and told Robert General of The Indianapolis Star that he wants to change the public perception of him.

“There’s a lot of narratives out there about me, but once you meet me you can tell I have a pretty good character and everything,” Bowen said. “I like to be responsible and everything and I’m just going to show teams that I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

Gant has been named Defensive Player of the Year in the Sun Belt the past two seasons. He was also the league’s top rebounder at 8.7 per night, while averaging 20.5 points and 2.6 blocks.

Draft Notes: Wolves, Kings, Pistons

We’re continuing to pass along workout schedules for NBA teams in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. See below for some additional workout notes from Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Detroit.