October 31, 2023
The Indiana Pacers have exercised the team options in the rookie-scale contracts of Isaiah Jackson and Bennedict Mathurin. Jackson's fourth-year team option and Mathurin's third-year option have been picked up, ensuring that both players will be under contract for the 2024-25 season.
Isaiah Jackson's contract extension required some consideration due to the Pacers' existing centers on the roster. However, his athleticism and defensive versatility make him a valuable asset worth developing. While his offensive skills away from the basket have not shown significant improvement, his potential as a tough defender and vertical spacer cannot be ignored.
Bennedict Mathurin's inclusion in the team was a no-brainer. As a First-Team All-Rookie player last season, he has already proven his scoring ability and knack for getting to the free throw line. With room for growth in his offensive game and improved passing skills, Mathurin is expected to have a big season as a starter. The Pacers will exercise his fourth-year rookie-scale option next offseason.
The Pacers' decision to retain both Jackson and Mathurin aligns with their goal of blending the present and the future. With over half of the team's opening-night rotation having less than four years of NBA experience, Indiana is focused on long-term development. Jackson's cap hit for the next season is manageable, and keeping him around poses little opportunity cost. Additionally, the Pacers project to have sufficient cap space in 2024, further supporting the decision to exercise Jackson's option.
By exercising the team options for Isaiah Jackson and Bennedict Mathurin, the Indiana Pacers have secured two promising young players who contribute to both the present and future success of the team. Jackson's defensive prowess and Mathurin's scoring ability make them valuable assets worth investing in. With a balanced approach to roster management, the Pacers have made the right choices for their long-term growth and competitiveness.
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