The Indiana Pacers have waived Walter Lemon Jr., Amida Brimah, and C.J. Wilcox, the team announced Wednesday. The Pacers roster now stands at the regular season maximum of 15 standard contracts and two two-way deals.
It’s likely that both Brimah and Lemon Jr. will land with the Mad Ants of the NBA G League.
Like Jakeenan Gant, Brimah signed an Exhibit-10 contract, which means he’ll earn a $50,000 bonus if he reports to Indiana’s affiliate. Plus, with Fort Wayne having already acquired his rights from the Austin Spurs in exchange for the rights to forward Jordan Barnett, he’ll automatically classify as a returning player for the Mad Ants. Fort Wayne also re-acquired the rights for Lemon Jr. and a 2020 second-round pick from the Windy City Bulls in exchange for a 2019 first round pick and 2020 first round pick.
Lemon Jr. previously played for the Mad Ants in 2015-16 and 2017-18, averaging 22.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in that second season which saw the team’s identity morph around his ability to pick defenses apart off the dribble while being surrounded by shooters. As such, and given that picks were surrendered to bring him back, it’s worth keeping an eye on how his return to town will impact playing time for Pacers prospects such as Naz Mitrou Long, who is currently on two-way contract and in the process of developing into more of a point guard.
As for Brimah, his shot-blocking will replace what Fort Wayne lost in Ike Anigbogu while also providing a team which has predominantly been 6-foot-9 and under with size and improved end-to-end mobility. In three practice games for the Pacers, Brimah tallied four points and four rebounds in 16 minutes of action. With 15 guaranteed contracts on the books, Indiana will have to rely on JaKarr Sampson to swing to the five in the event that the team is without any two of Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, or Goga Bitadze for an extended period.
Wilcox also signed an Exhibit-10 contract, but his future playing career seems like more of a question mark. The 28-year-old sharpshooter wasn’t initially sold on making another go at returning to the NBA after he ruptured his Achilles ahead of last season, and he never made an appearance during preseason play after being ruled out with a quad injury in India.
Fort Wayne opens training camp at the end of the month.