Indiana Pacers: Brad Wanamaker and the curious case of bad apples

Indiana Pacers, Brad Wanamaker - Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Brad Wanamaker - Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

In a rather widely expected move, the Indiana Pacers finally cut ties with veteran point guard Brad Wanamaker, marking an end to the 32-year-old’s uneventful three-month stint with the Blue and Gold.

Safe to say, Wanamaker was particularly far from a loved figure among Pacers circles, as he was completely dangling in his menial minutes on the floor, failing to make much of an impact to warrant real playing time.

Heck, even with injuries to Malcolm Brogdon and TJ McConnell, Wanamaker failed to see the court much, with Rick Carlisle opting to compromise by playing Caris LeVert at the point, a testament to how big of a non-factor the four-year player has been donning Indiana’s colorways.

So, where did it all go wrong? I’d say right from the beginning.

The Indiana Pacers willingly embraced Brad Wanamaker—and it didn’t pay off

I was one of the first people to express puzzlement over the Indiana Pacers’ decision to bring Brad Wanamaker aboard after a few showings in the preseason, with the team discarding some younger commodities in the process.

The predilection for a veteran voice, in the presence of Rick Carlisle, was perhaps the impetus toward the move, but right from the start, it was clear that the playmaker seemed like a poor fit with the Pacers. In hindsight, I was right. Actually, scratch that—a lot of us were right.

We do not condone hate speech, but that Wanamaker was a common subject of ridicule among Pacers fans was an accurate depiction of how a pairing doomed to fail indeed came that way. A team in need of a burst in the scoring and playmaking section instead opted to sign a methodical floor general who seemed more like a pawn at times? Yikes.

In his limited minutes, Wanamaker completely failed to impact the game, especially in scoring. His passing was what you expected it to be, but his head-scratching turnovers completely overshadowed whatever good thing he brought to the game. Watching him dictate the pace and unerringly kill the momentum with un-veteran mistakes was especially painful.

With many teams impacted by COVID right now, there is a good chance that Brad Wanamaker finds another home this season, even if fleeting. For the Pacers, they finally did the right thing on this failed experiment, though they should have done it before the clock even began.

Like picking bad apples, the Indiana Pacers knew what they were getting—but bafflingly clung to it, even if it was going to be tough to stomach.

Like a misplaced affection.

In a lost season, at that.

Next. The Pacers should trade for this young stud. dark