The Indiana Pacers waived multiple players Thursday after signing DeAndre Ayton to a record-setting offer sheet.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Ayton agreed to a four-year, $133M maximum deal with the Pacers. Although the Phoenix Suns have 48 hours to match the restricted free agent's offer, Indiana cleared cap space to leave the door open.
Per Wojnarowski, the Pacers waived guard Duane Washington and stretched Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan and Nik Stauskas. The final three players all came back to Indiana in the Malcolm Brogdon deal.
That leaves Aaron Nesmith and Daniel Theis in the Brogdon return from the Boston Celtics. The Pacers appeared to have made the move to receive the 2023 first-round pick and create more cap flexibility as they rebuild.
None of the trio figured to factor much into Indiana's future plans. Fitts scored just 15 points in 28 minutes last season. Boston only put Morgan on the court for four minutes during the regular season, but he saw some garbage time in the playoffs.
Indiana would have marked Stauskas' eighth NBA team since entering the league in 2014, and he's also played in Spain and the G-League.
Washington, meanwhile, saw significant playing time late in his rookie season. The guard averaged 9.9 points per game and made seven starts for the Pacers.
Despite these moves, Wojnarowski said the Suns are expected to match Ayton's offer sheet.