INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Kadeem Jack was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Indiana Pacers during training camp. With the roster cuts coming up very soon, it is almost certain that Jack will be amongst the players cut. The Pacers have 18 players on their roster, but they have to cut that down to 15 players by the deadline on Monday.
Kadeem Jack was signed by the Pacers to be placed on their D-League affiliate, which will happen after he is cut from the team. Jack is a 6'9" perimeter player that fits the new fast paced style that the Pacers want to play. The Pacers want to develop Jack on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to potentially use him on their team in the future.
The Indiana Pacers purchased the Fort Wayne Mad Ants during this past offseason. Kadeem Jack is just one example of how the team plans on utilizing their D-League affiliate. The goal for the Pacers is to develop young players on the Mad Ants that could eventually contribute to the professional affiliate.
Jack has been one of the hardest working players at Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the Pacers' training camp. He has utilized as much of the availability that he has to the professional facility that he can. Kadeem Jack has also utilized the coaching staff of the Pacers by learning as much as he can from them.
Kadeem Jack on his time with the Indiana Pacers (via Indianapolis Star):
“These guys practice a lot, and I just feel like I have a lot of energy. So I still want to get a lot of shots up. Go to the practice court and shoot off the gun (which feeds him the ball), just to make sure I keep getting better.”
Kadeem Jack has had a fantastic attitude regarding his time with the Pacers. He knows that he won’t make the Pacers’ roster, but he has remained positive and has continued to work hard. The expectation has been that Jack will get cut, but will be extended by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Jack’s role on the Mad Ants should at least be a starting role, which will be great for Jack to gain experience.
It has been a terrific experience for Kadeem Jack to not only be able to use the facility in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but to practice with the players on the Pacers too. Kadeem Jack has gotten to play with some of the NBA's talented players, such as; Paul George, Monta Ellis, George Hill, C.J. Miles, and others. Coming from Rutgers, the speed, skill, and physicality of the game is much different in the NBA. Of course practice is much different from a real game, but Jack has at least gotten the chance to adjust to the NBA's speed, physicality, and skill.
Kadeem Jack never had the chance to check into one of the Pacers' preseason games. But, at least Jack had the opportunity to learn the expectations and scheme that the Pacers want the Mad Ants to run next season. The Mad Ants will be running the same style and scheme as the Pacers on both offense and defense. Getting into a preseason game and getting real game experience running the system would have been nice, but at least Jack understands what will be expected of him.
The first season on the Mad Ants for Kadeem Jack will be important for the Pacers organization to understand what Jack needs to work on. Getting a season of film, statistics, and experience with the Mad Ants will be valuable for both Jack and the Pacers. This will be similar to the situation that the Pacers have with C.J. Fair. They evaluated Fair's first season with the Mad Ants, they know what Fair needs to work on, and now both sides have an understanding of where he needs to be in order to eventually make the roster.
It may take a year, two years, or even three years for Kadeem Jack to make the Pacers’ roster, in fact, he might never make it. But Jack has remained determined to work as hard as he can to not only eventually make the Pacers’ roster, but to contribute as well. Keep an eye on Jack’s development, his work ethic could potentially earn him a spot on the Pacers in the future.