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Pacers sign, waive rookie free agent Ben Bentil

19 March 2016: F Ben Bentil (0) of the Providence Friars during the North Carolina Tar Heels game versus the Providence Friars in the second round of the Division I Men's Championship at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Chris Rodier/Icon Sportswire)
Chris Rodier/Icon Sportswire

The Indiana Pacers announced on Monday morning that the franchise signed rookie free agent forward Ben Bentil to a contract. Later Monday, the Pacers announced the release of Bentil, but he’ll join the team’s D-League squad in Fort Wayne.

Bentil was originally drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Boston Celtics, but the team waived him on Friday in order to clear room on the roster.

The up-and-comer only played in three of Boston’s seven preseason games and averaged five points, 4.3 rebounds and one block per contest. His best game came in 15 minutes of action on Wednesday in the team’s preseason-finale against the New York Knicks. He scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in that effort.

Entering the league, Bentil seemed to have potential as a floor-stretching big man. He shot 32.9 percent from behind the arc in his second season at Providence while attempting over four three pointers per game. However, this preseason he was 0-for-6 from three-point range. That is a small sample and provides little indictment on his ability to knock down threes at the NBA level, but in an already crowded frontcourt in Boston, it likely didn’t help his chances of making the roster.

Along with Kris Dunn, Bentil was one of the central pieces of last year’s Providence team that earned a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 21.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Friars and notably led the team in both those categories.

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