Pacers, Shayne Whittington finalizing a new deal

Whittington has remained in Indy to work out for most of the summer.

Whittington has remained in Indy to work out for most of the summer.

The Pacers and Shayne Whittington are finalizing a new contract that will keep the forward in Indianapolis.

“Something should be solid soon,” a league source told VigilantSports.com.

Shams Charania of RealGM reported late Sunday that Whittington had agreed to a one year, fully guaranteed contract.

The two sides coming together to negotiate a new deal was just a matter of time.

Whittington wanted to re-sign with the team and the Pacers wanted to keep him. The Pacers could have extended a qualifying offer to Whittington by the end of June but chose not to for flexibility sake. After seeing David West opt out, they preferred to go through free agency before handling Whittington.

“(Team officials) want Shayne a part of the team,” the source made clear.

The 6-foot-10 power forward was not concerned about his contract status and understood his focus has to remain on getting better.

“He was telling me it’s all on me,” Whittington said of President Larry Bird’s message to him after the season. “It depends on how much I work this summer whether or not I play or whether or not I sit the bench again. He wants me to play but he wants me to work for it. So that’s what this summer is all about — me working and getting better.

In his rookie season last year, Whittington, an undrafted free agent, played in 20 games and averaged 2.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest. Looking to get more on-court time, Whittington finished the year in the D-League — and wound up playing in the D-League Finals, though they were swept.

[Offseason Q&A with Shayne Whittington]

Whittington is excited about the Pacers’ desire to hike the tempo because it suits his game. He has spent the majority of the offseason in Indianapolis, working out daily at Bankers Life Fieldhouse while also following a strict diet. The diet, which ties protein with a certain amount of carbs, works to get his metabolism going to help lose fat and gain muscle.

“I’m looking to maintain what I have but cutting the bad stuff,” he said. “I’m trying to be the guy that can go forever. I’m trying to be like George Hill. He goes forever and doesn’t get tired.”

Over the last two weeks, Whittington participated in free agent/rookie mini-camp and then played on the Pacers’ Summer League team down in Orlando.

The team’s depth on the frontline now includes Ian Mahinmi, Lavoy Allen, rookie Myles Turner, Jordan Hill (via trade), and Whittington.

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