Daniel Theis hasn’t had the easiest transition since departing the Boston Celtics for a second time, struggling to resettle as a member of the Indiana Pacers — and it’s taking a toll.
The 31-year-old veteran center was shipped in part of the 2022 Celtics trade for Malcolm Brogdon, being a piece of the first of two offseason transition waves in Boston. Fast forward a year later and Theis hasn’t even made an appearance for the Pacers, even though Indiana isn’t in contention form.
“Obviously after a great summer, I’m not happy with the situation I’m in right now,” Theis told Brian Robb of MassLive before Indiana’s recent matchup in Boston. “I want to play and take all the good stuff from the summer into the season but it’s a long season. We are going to see what’s going on and what’s happening.”
Before the start of the season, Theis played a critical role in representing Team Germany during its successful 2023 FIBA run, which also included a notable jaw-dropping win over Team USA.
When facing that United States team, Theis scored 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting with seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. That came off a season in which Theis played just seven games during his debut campaign with the Pacers and averaged seven points with 3.1 rebounds.
Perhaps that’ll signal the end of Theis in Indiana.
Theis is in the final year of his contract with the Pacers, set to earn $9.1 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Indiana does have a $9.5 million club option for 2024-25, which the organization will presumably decline in order to provide minutes for younger rim-protecting options such as Jalen Smith and Myles Turner.
One possibility Theis hasn’t ruled out, with that being said, is a possible third run with the Celtics. The Pacers could buy out Theis in order to finally set him free to sign elsewhere.
“I’ve learned never to say never. Obviously, I’m open (to returning to Boston for a third time),” Theis noted, per Robb. “I want to play and want to be part of the team, which is the most important thing.”