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Indiana Pacers place former Syracuse F Rakeem Christmas on waivers

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Indiana finally makes some moves to relieve crowded frontcourt.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunate news came yesterday for former Syracuse Orange forward Rakeem Christmas. The Indiana Pacers have elected to place him on waivers, per a report by CBS Radio’s Scott Agness.

Christmas had suited up for Indiana in the NBA Summer League in early July, but unfortunately injured his ankle, which prevented him from showing them much in limited minutes. By waving him on July 6, the Pacers will only owe Christmas $50,000 of his $1.5 million contract.

As Syracuse.com’s Chris Carlson points out, the move makes sense for Indiana given the current roster make-up. Without Paul George, the team will be in a bit of a rebuild this season and currently has a glut of frontcourt players. Among them: Al Jefferson, T.J. Leaf, Georges Niang, and Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Seraphin and Thaddeus Young. You can see where it would have been tough for Christmas to break through.

All was not lost in Rakeem’s Pacers tenure, however. He played in 30 regular season games over the course of his career, averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in what was typically less than eight minutes of action per night. He also got a taste of playoff basketball from the sidelines in the Pacers’ sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

He also found himself in commercials — for Extendotree and Gatorade.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas has some hopes to catch on elsewhere at the NBA level, as the initial fervor around free agency winds down, and teams get to filling out rosters for lingering needs. Among other teams, the Cavs, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors could all be in the market for a younger but slightly experienced big man.

Best of luck as you continue your NBA dream, Rakeem.