Source: Pacers waive guard Rodney Stuckey

The Pacers have waived guard Rodney Stuckey, a source informed VigilantSports.com.

A decision was finalized Wednesday morning, one day after the team announced that the veteran would be sidelined for four-to-six weeks due to a left patellar tendon strain suffered in the fourth quarter of a 107-94 Pacers win on Sunday over the Philadelphia 76ers.

In addition to Stuckey, several other Pacers are dealing with injuries.

  1. Glenn Robinson III, left calf strain — out at least another week.
  2. Al Jefferson, sprained left ankle — out at least two weeks.
  3. Thad Young, sprained left wrist — playing, but limited with his shooting hand.

The team thinks highly of Stuckey and one source said it wasn’t easy for President Larry Bird to cut ties with him.

The Pacers announced the move later Wednesday.

“We want to thank Rodney for his commitment to our franchise in his three years with the Pacers,” Bird said in a statement. “He was a positive influence not only to our team but also in the community.  We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

By waiving Stuckey, the Pacers have a roster spot available to help on the wing, and they are not on the hook for his $7 million player option that could have been owed for next season had he exercised his option — as was expected.

The Pacers, who have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games, have a .500 record (37-37) with just eight regular-season games remaining. They are seventh in the Eastern Conference, one game behind Atlanta and Milwaukee, and ahead of Miami.

This is about more than just a playoff push. It’s also about showing Paul George, who will be a free agent next summer, that he can have success in Indiana.

In the fall, when the Pacers could officially offer George a contract extension, it was explained to me that this would be a big season for the franchise because the number one factor for him was to win. George wanted to be part of a winning organization, especially during the prime part of his career.

George has previously said several times that he hoped 2010, when the Pacers selected him at No. 10, was the last time the franchise was in the lottery.

Stuckey, 30, spent his first seven seasons as a pro with the Detroit Pistons after they drafted him 15th overall in the 2007 draft. He then signed a one-year deal with the Pacers in 2014. He played in 71 games — starting almost more than half of those games (36) — and averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.

Since then, however, he’s dealt with a number of injuries. Foot, knee, both hamstrings…

Up to this point, Stuckey had missed 33 games this season due to injury, far more than anyone else on the Pacers. Second in games missed: Monta Ellis, Kevin Seraphin, and Thad Young — who have each sat out eight games. (The Pacers are 19-14 without Stuckey.)

From last season: Waiting to be cleared, Stuckey is thankful Pacers caught his injury early

The Pacers re-signed him in July of 2015 to a three-year deal worth $21 million that included a player option for the final year (2017-18). However, thanks to great contract work by the Pacers, if the team waived him before the end of the 2016-17 season, as they ultimately did, they can take his contract off the books for the upcoming season.

Pacers head athletic trainer Josh Corbeil checks on Rodney Stuckey’s left knee after he limped off the court.

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