The Indiana Pacersannounced on Friday that they have picked up rookie scale-team options in the contracts of Isaiah Jackson and Bennedict Mathurin.
The option picked up for both players covers the 2024-25 league year, so both of them are now under contract for the next two seasons. Mathurin has another team option for the following campaign — Jackson will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2025 if he finishes out his current deal.
The moves were made ahead of a Halloween deadline for all teams to decide on rookie-scale team options.
Players who are drafted in the first round of the NBA draft are subject to the rookie scale, and their contracts are four years in length with the last two years being team options. Those options are decided on a full season in advance. For Mathurin, the option exercised was his third-year team option. For Jackson, a 2021 draftee, it was his fourth-year option.
“I feel very confident,” Jackson said of his upcoming season at media day last week. “I sort of feel like it’s my year in a way.”
Jackson is currently in a battle for a role as Indiana’s backup center, and this option being picked up suggests the Pacers still believe in his potential. His athleticism and rim protection have always stood out, and his finishing around the basket (68.3% from inside three feet last season) makes him a useful piece. He needs to clean up his fouling and skills away from the basket to reach his full potential and be a clear every-day player.
Mathurin, meanwhile, is having a solid preseason as a starter for the blue and gold. So far, the signs are that he has added to his game. After an All-Rookie campaign last year, picking up his option was a lock. He’s an important member of the Pacers’ core.
His growth, as well as his fit with All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, is important this season. Jackson’s cap hit will be just over $4.4 million in 2024-25. Mathurin’s, meanwhile, will be $7.2 million. Indiana could be a cap space player in the 2024 offseason.
“I think we’re trying to continue to look long term,” general manager Chad Buchanan said late last month of Indiana’s direction. Jackson, Mathurin, and the Pacers will hit the court for action on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks for preseason action.