Pacers sign Trey McKinney Jones to 10-day contract

The Pacers signed Fort Wayne Mad Ants guard Trey McKinney Jones to a 10-day contract on Wednesday, marking the first time in franchise history that the Pacers had called up one of their one.

McKinney Jones, who went undrafted in 2013, has spent the majority of his professional career with the Mad Ants. Most recently, after playing on their summer league team, he signed a deal to participate in training camp with the Pacers but did not participate due to a shoulder injury — and was later waived.

He returned to game action with the Mad Ants on Dec. 2.

“It was a surprise and good news to me. Just being with the team in the preseason, even though I couldn’t participate, just makes this process a lot easier for me because I’m familiar with the guys and the coaching staff,” he said Wednesday.

Coach Steve Gansey shared his thoughts on Twitter: “Extremely proud moment from the Mad Ants organization past and present. WELL DESERVED!”

Mad Ants General Manager Brian Levy:

The Pacers had one roster spot available after they waived veteran Damien Wilkins, who has since rejoined the Greensboro Swam, before his contract became guaranteed for the rest of the season in early January.

[Wilkins proud of his time and impact with the Pacers]

This was Pacers President Kevin Pritchard approach to fill that available roster spot:

“There’s the buyout list but we won’t know about that and sometimes we get surprised by who gets bought out. And then we got the overseas look, guys coming back from China or Europe. And then, we really try to cultivate this G League [relationship]. We’ll look there first. I’d like to really see if we’re developing those players and getting them ready for the NBA because we put a lot resources into that.”

Pacers Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon purchased the Mad Ants in Sept. 2015.

Trey McKinney Jones, who will wear No. 10, is a 6-foot-5 guard out of the University of Miami. Appearing in 26 G League games this season, he 11.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.

Other 10-Day Transactions

It is the season for teams to sign G League players to 10-day contracts. There were two other players of note to do so Wednesday.

First, McKinney Jones’ backcourt teammate Walter Lemon, Jr. signed a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. He has had an outstanding year with the Mad Ants, leading them in scoring (22.7 points per game) while also averaging 4.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. He also shot 49.5 percent from the floor.

He will wear No. 25.

Congrats to Walt Lemon,” coach Gansey tweeted. “Hardest worker I’ve ever coached. Stayed patient and kept his routine.”

And former Indiana University forward Troy Williams joined the New York Knicks. He appeared in just four games for the 44-13 Houston Rockets, who currently own the best record in the league. They waived Williams to make room for veteran Joe Johnson.

Williams will wear No. 0.

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