The Indiana Pacers announced on Friday that they had signed three players. One of them was forward Justin Anderson, who is re-signing with Indiana after playing for the team last season.
Anderson was a needed piece for Indiana in 2021-22. Despite only playing in 13 games for the franchise, the six-year veteran filled in at key moments. He signed three different ten-day contracts with the Pacers — one in early January and two others in March — and those deals allowed him to slot in on the wing when the team desperately needed depth. The blue and gold dealt with several injuries last season, and Anderson was able to steady the ship.
His value was most obvious during a six game stretch where Anderson took over as a starter. During those half dozen battles, the forward averaged 12.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. His best game came on March 20, when he scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in a 31-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Anderson's scoring and defensive capabilities made him a good fit for the team last season. He has played for Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle in three of his six NBA seasons so far, and if he participates in training camp for Indiana this week, that number will grow to four.
All in all, Anderson averaged 6.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in his 13 appearances with the Pacers.
Where Anderson shined in 2021-22 was with Indiana's G League affiliate team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The six-foot-six wing was an offensive force for Fort Wayne, scoring 27.8 points per game and scoring well from all over the court. He was honored for his strong play at the G League level by being named to the first-team All NBA G League.
"He's done some good things," Carlisle shared of Anderson last season. The head coach was impressed that Anderson was able to fill in so capably as a starter while playing on a 10-day contract.
At this time, it is unknown how the Pacers intend to use Anderson in training camp or in the preseason, if at all. Indiana's roster now stands at 20 players, the maximum a team can carry in the offseason. If the Pacers want to add another player, they will either need to trade away someone or make a waiver.
Training camp begins for the Pacers on Tuesday.
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