Injury-plagued Pacers Sign A.J. Price
The injury plagued Indiana Pacers have signed free agent guard A.J. Price to address their backcourt woes.
Looking for Backcourt reinforcements
The Pacers have been scouting for reinforcements after multiple player injuries have hit their backcourt. Both the team’s point guards George Hill and C.J. Watson are currently on the injured list. Hill is nursing a knee injury and may not be back until December. On the other hand, Watson is expected to be out for the first two weeks of the season with a foot injury. Both point guards have not played a single game this season.
Shooting guard Rodney Stuckey has played the team’s first four games, but will miss at least the next three because of a foot injury. These injuries come in the midst of the absence of leading scorer Paul George who is out for the entire season after a nasty fall during USA Basketball’s exhibition games in the summer.
Abandoning Gal Mekel
The Pacers were already set to sign Israeli guard Gal Mekel, who was in Boston this Wednesday to meet with the team. Mekel was a target of both the Pacers and Thunder after his strong preseason play with the Mavericks. However, the Pacers backed out of the deal after learning that his visa would not be renewed until Friday after his release from the Dallas Mavericks.
The visa of foreign born players transfer from team to team when the player is traded. But in Mekel’s case, his visa expired once he cleared the waivers after his release from the Mavericks. League rules dictate that the new paperwork must be completed by the next team before he is allowed to sign and play. But with Donald Sloan as the lone point guard in the Pacers’ line-up, the team could no longer wait for Mekel’s visa to be processed.
Returning to Indiana
A.J. Price was the Pacers’ 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft. The former University of Connecticut standout played his first three NBA seasons with the Pacers and averaged 6.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game. He moved to Washington in 2013 and had his best career season there. Last season, Price played sparingly for the Minnesota Timberwolves in just 28 regular season games.
The 6-2 combo-guard was part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason line-up. He averaged 7.2 points and 2 assists in 6 preseason games before he was waived on November 1. Price was expected to fly to Boston to join the team on Thursday and give the Pacers the immediate lift in their backcourt.
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