It appears that the Pacers aren’t quite done cleaning house, yet. After having already completed the inevitable by waiving 31-year-old guard Monta Ellis, Indiana is also planning to move on from Rakeem Christmas, reports Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.
Christmas, who averaged 2.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in 29 games played last season, is tough to figure. He runs the floor hard and isn’t afraid to scrap on the offensive glass, but he remains foul prone (6.1 PF per 36 minutes), struggles to finish against more imposing frames in the restricted area (48.5%), and lacks confidence in his shot from mid-range (0-of-5). Generally speaking, he’s a non-shooting, small-ball center in a 6-foot-9 power forward’s body.
Making matters worse, after suffering and re-aggravating a sprain to his left ankle, Christmas only played 29 total minutes at the Orlando Pro Summer League, which largely clouded any fruits that laboring with the same trainer who assisted Glenn Robinson III last offseason may have bore.
The 25-year-old, arguably, needed to make a comparably noticeable leap with second-round pick Ike Anigbogu’s similar high-energy and raw offensive game soon to be waiting in the wings.
Since he was waived before August 1, Indiana is only on the hook for $50,000 of the undersized center’s $1.4 million salary.
Rumors has it that the Pacers are trying to shed salary to land Kelly Olynyk. They’ve also reportedly expressed interest in free agent reserve center Willie Reed.