Mar 19, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Western Michigan Broncos center Shayne Whittington (21) warms up during practice before the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers to sign undrafted free agent Shayne Whittington

The Indiana Pacers and undrafted free agent Shayne Whittington have agreed to a partially guaranteed one-year contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The news was passed along by Whittington’s agent, Ron Shade.

A four-year senior at Western Michigan who failed to garner significant interest prior to the draft, Whittington gives the Pacers a cheap flier on an intriguing big man. Standing 6’11″ with decent length, he’s a strong rebounder and shooter who might be able to contribute in time.

That help from Whittington definitely won’t be coming soon, though, as Wojnarowski says a knee injury will keep the 23-year-old sidelined until early 2015. That setback will likely make it hard for Whittington to earn opportunities next season, particularly as the Pacers make another run to the playoffs, but being around Indiana’s staff should help him prepare for when he’s healthy.

During his senior year, Whittington averaged 16.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while leading Western Michigan to the conference championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Playing third-seeded Syracuse in the first round, Whittington recorded 11 points and two rebounds in a lopsided loss.

For the Pacers, the move continues an apparent stockpiling of intriguing young players. Earlier on Wednesday, the team announced the signing of Croatian sharpshooter Damjan Rudez, a 27-year-old who most recently played for Zaragoza of the Spanish ACB league.

Whittington wasn’t considered a major prospect this spring, but Wojnarowski says he impressed scouts with a strong showing during this year’s Portsmouth Invitational. It wouldn’t be surprising if some folks from Indiana were in attendance for that event.

 

Tags: Indiana Pacers

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