Pacers convert Alex Poythress’ contract into guaranteed deal

Patience and performance paid off for Alex Poythress. With his two-way deal about to expire — players can spend up to 45 days with the NBA franchise — the forward had his contract converted into a guaranteed contract by the Pacers on Thursday.

He signed a two-year deal, a league source told

Hours before the team officially announced the deal, the 24-year-old sent out the following tweet:

“I’m very confident. I feel like I’m an NBA player,” Poythress said on Dec. 16 after returning from a stint in Fort Wayne. “Nobody can tell me otherwise.”

Poythress signed a two-way contract with the Pacers back on August 22. He has appeared in 11 Pacers games this season. He played in two of their last three games, including 22 minutes in a loss at Detroit on Dec. 26.

“I feel good about the opportunity,” Poythress said of his time in Fort Wayne. Just always trying to stay ready. You never know when you’re going to get called so just stay ready and everything will take care of itself.”

The University of Kentucky product played in just six games with the Mad Ants. He averaged 20 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game.

What he missed the most while away from the Pacers? The breakfast freshly cooked each morning by a chef.

“It’s not as bad as people say it is,” he said of the G League. “It’s still working. You still have a gym, weight room, and everything like that. You’re putting the work in and it’s all the same to me.”

The Pacers are 19-16 after dropping their last two games, slotted in sixth in the East. They play at Chicago on Friday.

“It’s a great group of guys and there’s no egos, nothing like that. They’re just playing for each other.”

His role is defending, rebounding, and making the hustle plays.

It’s the first season of two-way contacts, where NBA franchises can sign up to two guys to play for them or their G League franchise. With Poythress signing an NBA deal, one two-way contract is available for the Pacers to use. Edmond Sumner, who was cleared for contact work (ACL rehab) at the beginning of the month, was the first player signed to a two-way deal.

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