The Indiana Pacers front office made a big investment on Andrew Nembhard

Andrew Nembhard (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Andrew Nembhard (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Riding the declining wave of the offseason, the Indiana Pacers made a quiet move on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with rookie Andrew Nembhard on a record deal for a second-round selection.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony fleshed out the details of the signing.

Nembhard, the 31st pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, will be entering a point guard rotation for the Pacers led by Tyrese Haliburton and veteran TJ McConnell. This is a relatively big investment by the team on the rookie, as first-year players selected in the second round are typically signed to shorter, non-guaranteed deals.

The Indiana Pacers invested big on Andrew Nembhard

Andrew Nembhard, a lanky playmaker who stood out as part of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in his senior year, is not expected to command a stable role right from the get-go next season with Haliburton getting the bulk of minutes at PG and McConnell back to full health, but that the Indiana Pacers were willing to hash out big money for him at this juncture should be telling of how much the team values his upside.

The 6’5 guard did not particularly turn a lot of heads in the NBA2K23 Summer League, registering a modest 6.6 points and five assists in 26.2 minutes per outing, but he showed flashes of his highly-touted basketball IQ that should translate pretty well in the big league.

While he is currently projected to be beneath the pecking order in the rotation, he could jump into a bigger role immediately if the Pacers deal McConnell or even Buddy Hield to free up even more cap space and court time for the younger cogs on the roster.

Ultimately, this was a rather unprecedented investment by the Indiana Pacers on the rookie point guard. Whether Nembhard pans out and becomes a valuable contributor in the league remains to be seen, but given the current direction of the franchise, he should have a lot of chances to prove himself, though that may come a bit later.

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