Contract for young East guard may make Andrew Nembhard discussions hard for Pacers

The Toronto Raptors just locked up Immanuel Quickley on a massive contract extension. Here's why it might come into play in Indiana's pursuit to keep Andrew Nembhard long-term.
Toronto Raptors v Indiana Pacers
Toronto Raptors v Indiana Pacers / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

One of the Indiana Pacers' objectives this season is to extend Andrew Nembhard's contract to keep him in Indiana for longer. As it stands, Nembhard is signed through the upcoming season, after which he has a team option that Indiana will almost certainly pick up to keep him in Indiana through at least 2026. After that, however, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Indiana is looking to avoid this problem before it starts by signing Nembhard to his max extension number this offseason, which projects around $78.5 million over four years. This would cause Nembhard's salary in 2025-26 to rise from $2 million to $17.5 million. This is helped by the fact that Nembhard is set to sign with Life Sports Agency, the same agency that represents Pascal Siakam, who recently worked out his new contract to stay in Indiana.

However, this might get a bit tricky given the extension that other guards in his age range are getting. Most recently, Immanuel Quickley of the Toronto Raptors was announced to sign a five-year, $175 million contract to remain up north for the long term.

Quickley came to Toronto in the trade that brought OG Anunoby to New York and is now slated to remain there for the near future, with a contract that is set to make him over $30 million per year.

There is a chance this affects the extension market for young guards, with Nembhard being one of them. Looking at the amount of money he could net in free agency, Nembhard could look to skip out on an extension and test his luck in the open market in 2026, during which his asking price may reach higher than what Indiana can offer. We have seen a player's value rise along with the market offers to other players, and Nembhard may be the same case.

The Pacers' best bet is to be aggressive in trying to extend Nembhard this offseason, and getting the headache over with before it really starts. Pacers GM Chad Buchanan has already stated that Nembhard's development is a focal point of next season, which means he sees him as a key cog of this team for the future as well.

Indiana certainly knows what Andrew Nembhard can provide on the court. After his breakout performances in the 2024 playoffs, capped off with a fantastic series against the Boston Celtics where he shocked the world with how well he played against one of the greatest constructed teams ever, Nembhard's value around the league is high.


It would be in Indiana's best interest to extend him before other teams can get a shot at the impressive youngster.