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On Friday, the Indiana Pacers made a group of transactions — they waived three players and brought in three more to improve their G League and NBA rosters.

One of the players they brought in is center Norvel Pelle. Pelle, a 29-year old big man, previously signed a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason, but Portland waived him a few weeks ago.

Now, he joins the blue and gold. The three-year pro has played for five franchises already throughout his career, including a moderately sized role with the 2019-20 Philadelphia 76ers. 

The Pacers G League affiliate franchise, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, acquired Pelle's returning player rights in a trade just over a week ago. That move telegraphed that Indiana may be looking to bring in Pelle before the season started.

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Pelle took a unique path to the NBA after not playing a game in college. Through nearly a half decade of play in the G League and overseas, the big man proved he had enough talent to play in the NBA. He's been in the league ever since.

The big man's best tools are his shot blocking and rebounding abilities. His 10.7% block percentage during his 40 career games is impressive, even on a small sample size.

Pelle will compete for the Pacers open roster spot or two-way contract slot if he is still on the team when training camp opens. Indiana already has several big men in the mix at the NBA level, so this signing has more to do with the Mad Ants than the Pacers.

Pelle spent time with the Sacramento Kings during early 2021, where he was teammates with now-Pacers guards Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. After adding Pelle, Indiana's roster now stands at the maximum of 20 players, meaning a waiver or trade would be required if the team wants to sign someone else. Training camp begins in just a few days for the Pacers, with preseason action tipping off on October 5.

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  • See where various Indiana Pacers players ranked on ESPN's top 100 NBA players list. CLICK HERE.
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