In what is becoming an ongoing saga, it appears as though the Pacers and Kelan Martin have once again reached an agreement to pushback his salary guarantee date.
Martin’s $1.7 million salary had originally been on track to become fully guaranteed on August 7, but the two sides reportedly agreed to move that deadline to what various salary cap experts thought was yesterday, August 31.
Kelan Martin's contract with the Indiana Pacers will become fully guaranteed if he's not waived today. Martin and the Pacers previously pushed his guarantee date back to today.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 31, 2021
According to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files, however, Martin’s salary guarantee date is now the start of the regular season, which means the 26-year-old wing will have to make Indiana’s opening night roster to earn his guarantee.
Martin, who impressed during a late-season win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring 25 points on 16 shots while grabbing seven rebounds, faces increased competition at the wing position, after only playing in 35 games last season. Under former head coach Nate Bjorkgren, the former Butler standout struggled to earn floor time, playing fewer minutes for the season (322) than Jeremy Lamb logged at nominal four (371).
While that particular rotation choice was certainly questionable at the time given the discrepancy between those two players as versatile defenders, Rick Carlisle now has more options at his disposal to fill that particular role. After all, beyond the addition of Torrey Craig, Oshae Brissett continued to impress during Summer League, carrying over the momentum from his late-season surge, and with the starting lineup **knocks on wood** fully healthy, Justin Holiday is poised to slide back to the bench full-time.
Overall, with more pressing needs at third-string point guard, it doesn’t seem as though a clear enough path is there for Martin to crack the rotation; however, by extending his guarantee date, the team retains flexibility while also potentially boosting competition at training camp, which is slated to begin at the end of the month.
In the event Martin is waived before the start of the season, Indiana will have an open spot on the standard roster, with Dejon Jarreau and Duane Washington Jr. filling both two-way spots.