Edmond Sumner's injury is a painful one and a brutal blow to the Pacers before the start of camp
Gearing up for his fifth season with the franchise, he suffered a torn Achilles that is expected to sideline him for the season.
More than two weeks remain in the NBA offseason and already the Pacers have been negatively impacted by injuries.
Earlier in the week, the team proactively announced that forward T.J. Warren would be out indefinitely as he continued to heal and rehab from left foot surgery eight months ago. By Thursday, they were dealt another blow.
Edmond Sumner’s season is likely over before it even began after the Pacers guard suffered a torn left Achilles tendon.
Many of the younger Pacers are already in Indianapolis — the rest of the guys are planning to be in town by Monday — and Sumner joined them at the team facility, according to a league source. He made a move towards the basket and then went up for a dunk. He’s a player with a lot of bounce and his left foot would have been his take-off foot, the one he used to spring up.
Devastated. Heartbroken. Really sucks.
That’s how those around him felt after hearing what occurred.
Sumner, 25, has spent much of the offseason in Indy and was working out five days a week. He was being diligent about his workload, not wanting to put too much stress on his body. He was working on his shooting and establishing new habits. And he was improving mentally and physically, gearing up for an important season.
“Looks fantastic,” a source said of Sumner last week.
Just 10 days ago, here’s how he was feeling: “Season approaching… got my mind and body right,” he wrote on Instagram. “Feeling great.”
Sumner was expected to be in the rotation and competing with Jeremy Lamb and rookie Chris Duarte for minutes. He could also be a ball-handler if/when other guards missed time due to injury. Head coach Rick Carlisle values defense and Sumner is a two-way player, arguably the best athlete on the team.
His contributions and per-game averages have increased each season as he plays more minutes. Sumner appeared in 53 (of 72) games last season — he started in 24 — and averaged 7.5 points per game. He increased his 3-point percentage from 26.4 to 39.8 percent over the last season, and his free throw percentage from 55.2 to 81.9 percent.
In addition to the injury, painful rehab and missed time, it’s also troubling for Sumner because he’s entering a contract year. He easily outplayed his $2.1 million salary last season and was in line for his first sizable contract.
This significant injury and a lost season is more bad luck. Fortunately for him, the Pacers picked up the team option on his $2.3 million salary for the 2021-22 season in July.
The Detroit native was a first-round talent out of Xavier University, but was available at the end of the second round in 2017 due to a torn ACL. So his rookie season was essentially a redshirt year, and then he spent time in the G League with the Mad Ants while on a two-way contract. The Pacers later converted that into an NBA deal — one year after his brother passed away due to cancer — and in 2019, they opted to invest further in Sumner with a three-year deal.
“Damn man, bros been through more than you know,” Myles Turner wrote on Instagram.
Kelan Martin added: “(Not gonna lie), this shit hurt me gang. Prayers for my dawg.”
Victor Oladipo: “Praying for my bro Edmond.”
The Pacers have 20 players under contract for training camp, which begins on Sept. 28, but they have some flexibility.
But mostly, the Pacers are hoping bad news does not come in threes.