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Pacers trim roster following preseason finale

Indiana has waived three players and has decisions to make on two more.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Following the team’s 110-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the Pacers announced in a press release that they have waived Keifer Sykes, Terry Taylor, and Nate Hinton.

After impressing as an undersized guard in Summer League, Sykes, 6-foot-0, was thought to be in contention for the team’s vacancy at third string point guard but ended up missing time due to an ankle injury and underwhelmed while committing several errors in extended action in the preseason finale.

Brad Wanamaker, meanwhile, who was signed to a training camp deal in the wake of the trade that offloaded Edmond Sumner’s contract to the Brooklyn Nets, didn’t finish particularly well around the rim, going just 2-of-6 in the restricted area, but he looked more in control while initiating the offense and gives up less size at the other end of the floor.

Along with Sykes, Hinton and Taylor signed Exhibit-10 deals which means if they spend at least 60 days with the Mad Ants they could earn bonuses up to $50K.

While trimming down the roster, Indiana also signed five-year NBA veteran Justin Anderson, undrafted forward Derek Culver, and stretch-shooting big man Bennie Boatwright — the latter of whom played for the Pacers in Summer League before sustaining a knee injury — presumably for the purpose of owning their G League rights.

In addition to monitoring whether Wanamaker sticks with the standard roster, the other matter of business to keep an eye on is whether Kelan Martin remains on the roster for opening night, when his $1.7 million salary becomes fully guaranteed.

“Those 3-and-D guys in the NBA are extreme value,” Kevin Pritchard said at Media Day, while discussing Martin’s contract status. “I think second year for a player like him, knowing the building, knowing his way around will give him an advantage. We’re rooting for him.”

Limited to only two preseason games as a result of a hamstring injury, Martin averaged 6.5 points in 24 minutes of action while contributing a total of two assists and five rebounds.

Down by several shooters and pressed into starting T.J. McConnell and Torrey Craig alongside Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, the Pacers shot a woeful 30 percent from three on ninth-ranked volume during preseason action — arguably underscoring the need for as many long-range marksmen as possible, even in limited roles.