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Pacers first-round picks Jarace Walker, Ben Sheppard sign first NBA contracts
Walker and Sheppard put ink to paper on July 1, 2023 — the first day possible to sign their four-year contracts.
At 2:36 p.m. Saturday, Ben Sheppard officially became an NBA player.
On the third floor of the St. Vincent Center, after completing his first practice leading up to summer league, Sheppard sat in a chair outside the offices of the front office for a special occasion.
Using a custom black pen with a Pacers logo, he signed his rookie contract. His first NBA deal.
Sheppard, the 26th overall pick, is set to earn $13 million over four years, including $2.5 million for his rookie season.
As this was going on, Jarace Walker picked up his phone and started filming video in celebration.
And then it was his turn.
By 2:38 p.m., Walker put his signature on the official documents to make him a Pacer.
Walker, the 8th overall pick, is slotted to earn $6 million in Year 1 and $27 million over four years. Only the first two seasons for first-round picks are fully guaranteed.
This all went down following practice and about 10 minutes after Walker spoke about Day 1. A week after being a lottery pick after one season at the University of Houston, it has finally sunk in.
“Yeah, for sure,” he said, smiling. “It’s definitely real now. We’re in here practicing, getting shots up after. It’s a new team and opportunity, new people to meet and new brothers so I’m definitely excited.”
Watch what Walker had to say after his first practice: