INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Various NBA insiders claim that their sources indicate that the Indiana Pacers will make their final roster cuts in the next few days. The deadline for the final roster cuts is on Monday, but the Pacers are expected to have made their cuts before that time.
The Pacers currently have 18 players on their roster, which means that they have to cut three players. Some players are considered in the danger zone for these roster cuts. C.J. Fair, Kadeem Jack, and Toney Douglas appear to be the most likely players to be cut, but Shayne Whittington could also be considered in that zone in a way.
Indiana intends on using C.J. Fair and Kadeem Jack on their D-League affiliate (Fort Wayne Mad Ants). That narrows the roster down to 16 players right there. Toney Douglas and Shayne Whittington will most likely be the players that the final roster cut will be deciding for.
Toney Douglas has been out of the rotation for basically the final half of the Pacers' preseason, which likely means that the decision has already been made. Depth is the biggest concern surrounding the decision to cut Douglas. The team would be left without a third string point guard. That is a concern, especially for a team that is coming off of a horrific season in terms of injuries.
The only contingencies surrounding Douglas being cut are; (1) the Pacers would be without a third string point guard, (2) the Pacers already have three players at power forward and center (excluding Whittington), (3) Key players such as Paul George and George Hill have stated their beliefs that Douglas deserves a roster spot.
There has been no indication of this being an idea from the organization, but the Pacers could send Shayne Whittington to Fort Wayne with C.J. Fair and Kadeem Jack. It is highly likely that Whittington will not receive very many minutes during the regular season, giving the opportunity to receive heavy minutes in Fort Wayne sounds like the best option.
Paul George on Toney Douglas deserving a roster spot (via Indianapolis Star):
“It’s a tough situation for our front office. We feel Toney is the makeup of this team. His pressure, his unselfishness is what we hung our hat on – really being the identity of this team. Playing with him and having him a part of this team, it just brings me back to what we used to be. It’s going to be a tough decision for us.”
Toney Douglas on the roster cuts (via Indianapolis Star):
“I've been proving myself my whole life. That's nothing new. I don't mind doing that. Nothing was ever given to me in life and I've worked for everything I got.”
“I hope I’m on this team because I feel like I can help this team. I want to be here. Hopefully, (the feeling) is the same for the coaches and Larry (Bird) and whoever makes the decision. I’m confident but at the end of the day, it’s out of my control.”
George Hill on Toney Douglas deserving a roster spot (via Indianapolis Star):
“He'd be a great addition for us. Normally you have three point guards and he's fighting for that last spot. With the time he's had and what we've asked him to do, he's hit every mark and looks great doing it.”
Sending Shayne Whittington, C.J. Fair, and Kadeem Jack to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants would give the Pacers a spot for Toney Douglas. However, it appears that the team has decided to move on Toney Douglas, but keep Shayne Whittington. It has been clear that Whittington has potential, but there is no point of having him ride the pine when he could be gaining experience and playing with the Mad Ants.
In a nutshell, the players expected to be released for the final cuts are; Toney Douglas, C.J. Fair, and Kadeem Jack. But there remains a small possibility that Toney Douglas survives these final cuts, but those chances appear to be very slim. Key players want Douglas on the team and their opinions could be important in the decision making process.