Pacers Rumors

Pacers Waive Justin Anderson, Norvel Pelle

The Pacers have placed forward Justin Anderson and center Norvel Pelle on waivers, according to NBA.com’s transactions log. Both players signed with the team on Friday and appear headed to Indiana’s G League affiliate in Fort Wayne.

Anderson, 28, signed three 10-day contracts with the Pacers last season and spent time with the Cavaliers as well on a 10-day deal. He appeared in 13 games for Indiana, averaging 6.8 PPG in 20.7 minutes per night.

Pelle, 29, had a brief NBA appearance last season, getting into three games with the Jazz after inking a 10-day contract in January. He was waived by the Trail Blazers earlier this month.

The moves bring the Pacers’ roster back down to 18 players and create room for two more signings before the start of training camp on Tuesday.

Pacers Sign Langston Galloway, Two Others

The Pacers have made some changes to their training camp roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed free agent guard Langston Galloway, forward Justin Anderson, and center Norvel Pelle.

Indiana previously had a full 20-man roster, so the team waived three players to make room for the new additions. Forward Bennie Boatwright and guards David Stockton and Gabe York have been cut and are on track to clear waivers on Sunday.

All three of the newly-added Pacers have NBA experience. Galloway, in particular, has appeared in over 450 regular season games, spending time with the Knicks, Pelicans, Kings, Pistons, Suns, Nets, and Bucks since entering the league in 2014. He has averaged 8.1 PPG on .397/.368/.816 shooting during that time, though he hasn’t played significant minutes since his last season in Detroit in 2019/20.

Anderson, meanwhile, has averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 242 NBA games (13.6 MPG) for six teams, while Pelle has appeared in 40 total contests for five teams. Anderson last played for the Pacers on a pair of 10-day contracts near the end of the 2021/22 season; Pelle was released by Portland earlier this month.

Galloway’s contract is non-guaranteed, reports Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). He may have an opportunity to compete with James Johnson for a spot on Indiana’s regular season roster. The team currently has 13 players on guaranteed salaries, plus Oshae Brissett on a non-guaranteed contract.

It seems safe to assume Anderson’s and Pelle’s deals are non-guaranteed too, though Agness suggests they’ll probably end up playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ G League affiliate. Boatwright, Stockton, and York are likely headed to Fort Wayne as well.

Pacific Notes: Sarver, Sale Reaction, Lakers, Kings

Robert Sarver has announced his intention to sell the Suns and the NBA’s Phoenix Mercury, but it’s not likely to be a fast process, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Sources tell Shelburne that it could take months to go through the process of getting a new ownership group in place. Sarver has been suspended for a full year, so vice chairman and minority owner Sam Garvin will continue to run the team until a sale is complete.

Although Sarver only owns about one-third of the franchise, he has the authority to sell the team because of his role as managing partner, sources tell Baxter Holmes of ESPN (Twitter link). Sarver, who has owned the Suns since 2004, is expected to profit significantly from the sale, with the potential price possibly topping $2 billion.

Appearing on NBA Today (video link), Holmes relayed a statement from one Suns staff member that read, “To be honest it just felt like justice! Like we can finally heal and know we won’t be working under that type of leadership. I swear there will be tears when senior executives are held accountable!”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA president CJ McCollum have both endorsed Sarver’s choice. “I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury,” Silver tweeted shortly after Sarver’s announcement. “This is the right next step for the organization and community.” McCollum echoed those thoughts in his statement, writing, “We thank Mr. Sarver for making a swift decision that was in the best interest of our sports community.”
  • The Lakers‘ trade talks with the Pacers continued this week, but they’re not willing to meet Indiana’s demand of two unprotected first-round picks, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link). The Pacers have been seen as a possible destination for Russell Westbrook, with L.A. hoping to land Myles Turner and Buddy Hield in return. The Lakers only have two first-rounders that they can offer — in 2027 and 2029 — and Charania expects the team to be cautious about moving them. He points out that L.A. has a “long runway” with Westbrook and can wait to see how the season plays out rather than rushing into a deal. Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan said earlier today that Turner will be with the team when the season begins.
  • Kings general manager Monte McNair has constructed this year’s roster around two players on their second NBA contracts, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, notes James Ham of Kings Beat. Ham says it’s a welcome change from continually trying to build the franchise around young prospects.

Pacers’ Buchanan Talks Turner, Rebuild, Haliburton, Smith

Appearing on the Kevin & Query show on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan said Myles Turner will be on the team’s roster when the regular season tips off, indicating that he doesn’t expect the veteran center to be on the move before opening night.

Buchanan tacitly acknowledged that the Pacers have had trade discussions about Turner since last season ended, telling the hosts that the front office is “always going to have to listen if teams call.” However, he said the 26-year-old “handled everything like a pro.”

“Myles knows this is part of the business,” Buchanan said. “We’ve communicated with him all summer on what was going on. We do that with our players, we’ve very transparent with them. He understood that part of it. Maybe he didn’t always like it, but he understood it.”

Because he’s entering a contract year and the Pacers have embarked on a rebuild, Turner has been widely viewed as a logical trade candidate. Still, Buchanan pointed out that the shot-blocking center – who is also extension-eligible – is a nice fit on the current roster, especially now that Domantas Sabonis is no longer in the picture and the team has added play-making guards like Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin.

“It’s always going to be our job to listen if it helps improve the team, but Myles (fits) with this team, with a young group of guys – especially a young group of guards – that need some defensive protection behind them, that need some experience with them in the locker room,” Buchanan said. “His shooting, it really fits with a lot of our young guards, and so from a basketball standpoint, he’s an outstanding fit on the court for us.

“… Domas is no longer with us, (Turner has) got the starting center position, he’s playing with a great young guard in Tyrese, with a coach that believes in him, so he’s set up to have an opportunity to have a great season and that puts him in a great spot next summer (in free agency). We’ve got to weigh those conversations with Myles throughout the year, with his agent throughout the year, and evaluate how he fits with our young guards, because we haven’t seen him with Tyrese. We think it’s going to fit well, but we want to see what it looks like before we make some of those calls. I’m sure Myles wants to do the same thing on his end, it’s just part of the business.”

Here are a few more of Buchanan’s most noteworthy comments from his radio appearance:

On when the Pacers – long opposed to tanking – made the decision to rebuild:

“I think we felt that moment coming as the (2021/22) season started and we had injuries, and we just couldn’t gain any momentum. … For me personally, the game on New Year’s Eve when DeMar DeRozan throws in a running one-foot three-pointer, that felt like a dagger to me, just (for) that group and our season. It was time for a new path. The Pacers have always prided themselves on being competitive, being a playoff-caliber team. It was time for us to try something new. That group had reached its ceiling with its health, with its on-court play and success.”

On whether the Pacers will be stressing their place in the standings this season:

“I don’t think focusing on the wins and losses is appropriate with a young team. We want to see growth from start to finish. You’re going to have peaks and valleys. We’ve talked a lot about having calm waters around our team and not reacting to the highs or the lows too much. … We want to see growth from October to January to March to the end of the offseason, we want to see a trajectory of positive momentum. With a young team, that’s what you want.”

On whether the Suns – who built around lottery picks Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, and Cameron Johnson – are a good blueprint for the Pacers to follow:

“I think you’re spot on. Phoenix is a good example. I think Memphis and Cleveland are the other two examples that we look at. They have a couple high draft picks that they’ve hit on (and) they’ve drafted well late in the first round.”

On Haliburton entering his first full season in Indiana:

“I think Tyrese is ready to take the next step in his play. He’s more comfortable in his surroundings, he’s more comfortable with his teammates. I think we’re going to see a big jump from Tyrese this year, which I’m excited to see.”

On the Pacers’ expectations for Jalen Smith after he re-signed with the team:

“Jalen had a phenomenal summer. He was back in Baltimore training, and came back about two weeks ago and just floored everybody in the gym with some of the things he’s doing now. We’re super excited about how his game is expanding. … Him next to Myles brings us two shot blockers, two guys that can really stretch the floor and make shots, which helps our guards.

“Jalen, I think you’ll see, has added more dimensions to his game offensively, where he’s putting the ball on the floor a little bit, creating his own shot a little more. The challenge will be Jalen defending on the perimeter. That’ll be the thing that he’s really got to continue to develop on, and that’s what he worked all summer on. That’s a big thing we talked to him about when we signed him. As a power forward, your responsibilities are different than a center.”

James Johnson Signed Exhibit 9 Contract

  • The Pacers announced the signing of forwards James Johnson and Bennie Boatwright and guards David Stockton and Gabe York on Friday. Hoops Rumors has learned Johnson was signed to an Exhibit 9 contract while Boatwright, Stockton and York signed Exhibit 10 deals. An Exhibit 9 contract must be for one season and for a minimum salary. Generally speaking, if a player only receives an Exhibit 9 clause and not an Exhibit 10, it signals he won’t be joining the team’s G League affiliate if he’s waived before the season begins. Johnson spent most of last season in Brooklyn, averaging 5.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 62 appearances (19.2 MPG).

Central Notes: Hayes, Ball, Bucks, G League Trade

Killian Hayes has to make progress as a scorer to show the Pistons he should be part of their long-term plans, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. After injuries limited him to 26 games as a rookie, Hayes bounced back to play in 66 last season, showing the defensive and passing skills that made him the No. 7 overall pick in 2020.

However, his scoring development remained stagnant as he averaged 6.9 PPG in 25 minutes per night while shooting 38.3% from the field and 26.3% from three-point range. Edwards believes Hayes needs to become more aggressive in getting to the basket, noting that he made 74% of his attempts at the rim last season, but that only accounted for 16% of his shots.

Edwards poses questions involving other Pistons players, asking whether Isaiah Stewart has become a legitimate three-point shooter, whether Saddiq Bey can balance his performance from his first two seasons and whether Saben Lee can find a way to stand out on a roster loaded with guards.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Lonzo Ball tops a list of Bulls players with the most to prove compiled by Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Ball may be held out through the start of the regular season because of pain in his surgically repaired left knee. The Bulls insist the knee is structurally sound, but his availability will play a massive role in where the team finishes in the Eastern Conference. Mayberry adds that the team also needs a bounce-back performance from center Nikola Vucevic, who’s heading into a contract year.
  • Unlike most of their competitors in the East, the Bucks didn’t make major changes this offseason and can rely on continuity as they make a run at another NBA title, per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. Milwaukee still has the defensive foundation to contend for a championship, Gozlan adds, and Giannis Antetokounmpo remains one of the best players in the world. One financial concern that Gozlan points out is that the Bucks appear destined for the repeater tax next season, while Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez will both become unrestricted free agents in July if they don’t receive extensions.
  • In a press release, the Cleveland Charge – The Cavaliers‘ G League affiliate – announced the trade of Norvel Pelle and the Charge’s second-round pick to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (the Pacers‘ affiliate) in exchange for Nate Hinton.

Lakers Rumors: Westbrook, Role, Ham, Trade Talks, Schröder

Despite the recent additions of Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schröder, Russell Westbrook is increasingly likely to remain on the Lakers‘ roster, according to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

However, sources tell The Athletic that Westbrook’s role might change, with the team “strongly” considering having the former league MVP come off the bench in 2022/23. New head coach Darvin Ham has the “full backing” of the organization to determine lineups for the upcoming season, and Westbrook will have to outperform his new teammates during minicamp, training camp and the preseason to remain the Lakers’ starting point guard, Buha and Amick write.

Unless the Lakers can find a trade that they believe makes them a legitimate title contender, Westbrook is “highly likely” to stay on the roster, sources tell The Athletic.

A major part of that line of thinking is the Lakers want to keep their financial and trade options open for ’23/24, when they project to have $30MM+ in cap room for free agency, per Buha and Amick. Westbrook is on an expiring contract worth $47.1MM, and the Lakers have been reluctant to trade their 2027 and/or 2029 first-round picks to offload him.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Los Angeles is banking on Ham being able to optimize Westbrook’s talent — and get through to him in a way that Frank Vogel couldn’t — as well as a return to health for Anthony Davis in order for the ’22/23 season to be successful, sources tell Buha and Amick.
  • According to Buha and Amick, the Lakers discussed a four-team trade with the Jazz, Knicks and Hornets prior to Donovan Mitchell being dealt to Cleveland, with an early framework sending Bojan Bogdanovic and Terry Rozier to L.A.
  • Los Angeles continues to show interest in Bogdanovic, with The Athletic’s duo reporting that Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley have been included in recent talks with Utah for Westbrook. However, a deal is considered unlikely because of the aforementioned reasons — the Lakers don’t want to part with first-rounders and Clarkson has a $14.3MM player option for ’23/24 that would eat into the team’s potential cap room.
  • Along the same lines, Buha and Amick write that dealing Westbrook to the Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, which has been rumored multiple times, is also “not expected” — Hield has a $19.3MM cap hit in ’23/24.
  • Schröder made an Instagram post expressing his excitement about returning to the Lakers, saying that he wanted to “make s–t right!” Schröder’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells Mark Medina of NBA.com (Twitter link) that the team informed Schröder that “there will be a lot of minutes for everybody” despite a crowded backcourt.

Eight NBA Teams Have Open Two-Way Contract Slots

As of Friday evening, 52 of the NBA’s 60 two-way contract slots are filled. Given how flexible those two-way slots are, it’s possible – and, in fact, very likely – that not all 52 of those players will still be under contract when the regular season begins in a month. But for now, there are just eight two-way spots up for grabs around the league.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

A team with a two-way opening doesn’t necessarily need to decide how it will fill that spot before training camps begin in 10 days. Some of those clubs may decide to bring a handful of players to camp on Exhibit 10 contracts and then let those players compete for a two-way deal, since Exhibit 10s can be converted into two-ways before opening night.

Listed below are the eight teams that still have open two-way slots, along with some potential candidates to fill those openings.


Charlotte Hornets

With second-round pick Bryce McGowens occupying one two-way slot, the Hornets have no obvious candidate to fill the other, so it’s possible the team will hold a preseason competition. Currently, Jalen Crutcher, Jaylen Sims, Anthony Duruji, and Isaiah Whaley are signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, and all are eligible to have those contracts converted into two-way deals.

Dallas Mavericks

With their first two-way slot, the Mavericks signed Tyler Dorsey, who has high-level international experience and could earn a rotation role in Dallas this season. We’ll see if the team wants to use its second slot on another player who could contribute right away or if that spot will go to someone who is more of a developmental project.

McKinley Wright IV, Mouhamadou Gueye, and Tyler Hall are signed to Exhibit 10 deals and Marcus Bingham will reportedly receive one as well. All could be two-way candidates.

Houston Rockets

Bruno Fernando is the only Rocket who currently has an Exhibit 10 contract, and he remains eligible for a two-way deal. However, Houston has some roster cutdowns to make, which could open up opportunities for other camp invitees to emerge as two-way contenders. For now, undrafted rookie Trevor Hudgins is the club’s lone two-way player.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers were the last team to sign a player to a two-way contract this offseason, completing a deal with Kendall Brown on Friday. With Brown holding one two-way slot, the other remains open.

Deividas Sirvydis, Gabe York, Bennie Boatwright, and David Stockton are the two-way candidates currently on the roster, but the team has also reportedly agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with Tevin Brown, Eli Brooks, Fanbo Zeng, and Jermaine Samuels, so there will be no shortage of options.

Los Angeles Clippers

Moses Brown, who has 92 career regular season appearances under his belt and could provide much-needed frontcourt depth, is the most intriguing two-way candidate on the roster at the moment, but he’s hardly the only one. Like Brown, Xavier Moon and Keaton Wallace also have Exhibit 10 deals, while Justin Bean, Lucas Williamson, and Michael Devoe will reportedly receive them too.

For the time being, second-rounder Moussa Diabate is Los Angeles’ only two-way player.

Portland Trail Blazers

Given that the Trail Blazers don’t have a G League affiliate, it’s hard to see why they’d sign four players to Exhibit 10 contracts unless they want to have the option to convert one or more into a two-way deal. None of those four players – Jared Rhoden, Isaiah Miller, Devontae Cacok, and Olivier Sarr – has more than three years of NBA experience, meaning all of them are two-way eligible.

Portland’s lone current two-way player, Brandon Williams, is a holdover from last season, so his roster spot may not be as secure as a player who has signed a two-way deal since the offseason began.

Utah Jazz

Like Williams in Portland, Xavier Sneed was in the second year of his two-way contract before he was waived on Friday. The move leaves Johnny Juzang as the only two-way player on the Jazz’s roster.

Utah has a roster logjam to clear and could still make a trade or two before the regular season begins, so it’s too soon to name an obvious candidate to take Sneed’s spot. However, the team has reportedly agreed to sign Kofi Cockburn, Darryl Morsell, and Jeenathan Williams to Exhibit 10 contracts.

Washington Wizards

Jordan Schakel is in the second year of his two-way deal, so he may have to prove this preseason that he deserves to make the 17-man roster. Makur Maker, Quenton Jackson, Davion Mintz, and Jordan Goodwin are all on Exhibit 10 contracts in D.C. and could be in the two-way mix. Second-rounder Yannick Nzosa is also unsigned, but is expected to spend the 2022/23 season in the Spanish League.

Pacers Sign Kendall Brown, James Johnson, Three Others

The Pacers have officially announced a series of signings, confirming in a press release that they’ve signed second-round pick Kendall Brown to a two-way contract. Additionally, forwards James Johnson and Bennie Boatwright and guards David Stockton and Gabe York have signed with the club.

Brown, a 6’8″ forward who was selected with the No. 48 overall pick in this year’s draft, was one of the only remaining unsigned players in the 2022 class, besides those who will spend the 2022/23 overseas. The 19-year-old spent his first and only college season at Baylor in 2021/22, averaging 9.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.9 APG on .584/.341/.689 shooting in 34 games (27.0 MPG) for the Bears.

The Pacers were the NBA’s only team that had yet to fill one of its two-way contract slots, so even after signing Brown, the club has another two-way opening available.

Of the four veteran free agents to sign with Indiana, Johnson is the most notable. The 35-year-old spent most of last season in Brooklyn, registering 5.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 62 appearances (19.2 MPG) for the Nets. A 13-year NBA veteran, Johnson has a somewhat limited offensive game, but is considered a versatile, athletic defender. He was waived by the Nets just days before the regular season ended and should have an opportunity to make the Pacers’ regular season roster.

Boatwright and York played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants – the Pacers’ G League affiliate – last season and look like good candidates to return to Fort Wayne in 2022/23. Stockton played in the G League last season for the Memphis Hustle, but his rights were acquired by the Mad Ants last month, so he’s also a good bet to play in Fort Wayne this season.

The Pacers now have a full 20-man roster. Assuming Johnson, Boatwright, York, and Stockton didn’t receive guaranteed contracts, the team has 13 players on fully guaranteed salaries, six on non-guaranteed deals, and Brown on a two-way pact. We can probably expect more roster turnover in Indiana in the coming weeks, since the club has reportedly reached Exhibit 10 agreements with several other players.

And-Ones: Referees, Harrison, Bitadze, Korkmaz, Hoard

There won’t be any labor strife regarding NBA officials for several years. The NBA and the National Basketball Referees Association announced that they have entered into a new collective bargaining agreement that covers the next seven seasons.

That CBA runs through the 2028/29 season. The contract addressed salary, travel, pension and marketing issue rights and was ratified by the overwhelming majority of the NBA referees, the NBRA announced (hat tip to Andrew Lopez of ESPN).

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Aaron Harrison has signed in Slovenia with KK Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Harrison played 38 games with the Hornets and Mavericks from 2015-18. He played in Turkey last season.
  • FIBA officially announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened for the alleged attack on Sixers wing and Turkish national team member Furkan Korkmaz by Georgia players, including the Pacers’ Goga Bitadze, after Korkmaz was ejected from a EuroBasket contest, Eurohoops.net relays. Both sides agree that an incident happened and FIBA clarifies that they have the security camera footage from that day. What remains unclear is what kind of sanctions can be imposed, Eurohoops adds, as FIBA uses the wording “applicable disciplinary measures.”
  • Hapoel Tel Aviv has elected to retain Jaylen Hoard for the rest of he 2022/23 season, the team announced. Hoard joined the club on a partially guaranteed deal and now will get a full guarantee. After going undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2019, the 6’8″, French-born swingman joined the Trail Blazers on a two-way deal for the 2019/20 season. He then spent the subsequent two NBA seasons bouncing between the Thunder and their NBAGL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.