Source: Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe joining Pacers on two-way deal
He led the nation in rebounding the past two seasons. "My biggest thing is trying to get on a team that I can help bring the dirty work and help them win a championship."
The Pacers have reached agreement with undrafted big man Oscar Tshiebwe on a two-way contract, a league source confirmed to Fieldhouse Files. Shams Charania was first with the news.
It is truly a dream come true for this 23 year old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“This has been part of my dream — to go through this process and try to get in the league,” he said recently. “It’s something I’ve been thinking of since I starting playing basketball.”
For the Pacers, Tshiebwe is claiming the first of three two-way deals each team has available, up from two previously. It’s providing a job and sizable salary — about $560,000, half the minimum — for up to 30 more players per season.
Tshiebwe spent two years each at West Virginia University and the University of Kentucky. He was the consensus National Player of the Year in 2022, but then chose to return to UK thanks to a strong NIL (name, image and likeness) deal.
The 6-foot-9 center visited Indy to work out with the Pacers 10 days ago, back on June 12. He averaged 16.5 points and 13.7 rebounds per game — leading the nation in rebounding his junior and senior seasons.
And where have the Pacers been consistently poor?
Rebounding. (They were 24th last season.)
“The best thing I bring to the team is my rebound ability,” he said. “It’s a gift and it’s effort and it’s hard work. I watched Dennis Rodman, the man was a beast. He helped Mike Jordan win a couple championships.