The Indiana Pacers have released 6-foot-11 power forward Shayne Whittington, the team announced Friday. By releasing Whittington's less $1 million contract ahead of Monday's August 1 deadline to pickup or decline his option, Indiana's roster is now back within the 15-player maximum after officially inking reserve guard Aaron Brooks to a one-year contract last week pushed them over the NBA's designated limit.
Whittington, who averaged 12.1 and 7.9 rebounds on 42.9 percent shooting in the D-League, only appeared in seven games last season with the Pacers. After improving his three-point conversion rate to 38 percent over the final full month of the D-League season, Whittington averaged less than one attempt (0.4) per game at the Orlando Pro Summer League. A real oddity, given that it appeared he was working to extend his shooting range with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, as he attempted the second-most (168) shots of anyone on the team from that distance.
Given that surrounding projected backup center Al Jefferson with shooters is the best way to free up space for him to operate in the paint, banking on Georges Niang to fit-in quickly off the bench in a pinch is likely the safer call. The 50th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft shot a respectable 38.5 percent from beyond the arc in Orlando, and early returns seem to point toward him having a more complete all-around game than Whittington.
Meanwhile, after ranking among the top ten Orlando Summer League performers in terms of estimated wins added, it appears that Glenn Robinson III's athleticism and ability to the run the floor will be enough to earn him another season with the Pacers.
For more on both players: