Alex Poythress discusses his new contract with Pacers – ‘It’s a dream come true’

CHICAGO, Ill. — Alex Poythress received just the Christmas gift he was wanting: a guaranteed contract. The 24-year-old who began the season on a two-way contract with the Pacers knew that it was a possibility as his 45-day window was running out. But he didn’t get caught up in all of that.

So when he got the call from his agent and then Pacers General Manager Chad Buchanan, he was ecstatic.

“It was a good feeling,” Poythress said of his contract being converted into a two-year deal with the rest of the season fully guaranteed, per league source. “I was happy. I tried to be calm.

“It’s a dream come true.”

More than the stability — no more trips to Fort Wayne — and the money (about five times what he was making), this validates what Poythress has believed all along. But he’s taken an usual path to get there.

Earlier this month after returning from playing with the Mad Ants, he confidently said “I feel like I’m an NBA player. Nobody can tell me otherwise.”

The Pacers have been enamored with Poythress since he went undrafted back in 2016. He joined the team for training camp and said then “All I wanted was an opportunity.” And that’s what he got.

“The last couple of years we’ve kept an eye on him,” said coach Nate McMillan. “And now he’s part of our roster, a four that we like his potential.”

He stayed after it, through four years at the University of Kentucky, an ACL injury, and time in the NBA G League. His persistence paid off.

“It’s a little bit of relief but it’s just more motivation to keep on working, show you belong.

“I took the hard road, I took a road that not a lot of people go through so it’s a little more special. I had a couple of bumps in the road but the true character of a man is what happens when you get adversity so I felt like I handled that right.”

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