Visa issue might prevent Pacers from signing Gal Mekel
George Hill, C.J. Watson and Rodney Stuckey are all injured. Donald Sloan played 43 minutes last night.
Yeah, it’s desperate.
But there’s a hitch with Mekel.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Because of a procedural delay in securing new visa for a foreign player, Pacers' plan to sign PG Gal Mekel has been thrown into jeopardy— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 6, 2014
Pacers flew Mekel to Boston yesterday in anticipation of signing him today because Indy's waiver from NBA to sign 16th player expires today— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 6, 2014
But procedural issues could prevent Mekel from securing new P1 Visa until Friday, potentially forcing Indy to sign a different player today— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 6, 2014
Must say: How a visa issue like this could scuttle a signing, in a league with a hundred foreign-born players, is rather hard to comprehend— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 6, 2014
That the Pacers are so desperate for Mekel speaks to their larger problems.
At 1-4, they’re about as bad as expected with Lance Stephenson in Charlotte and Paul George injured. Their season is not over, but it’s on the way toward irreparable.
I understand Mekel is the Pacers’ top choice in free agency, but he’s not irreplaceable. If Indiana needs to sign someone else – Will Bynum? John Lucas? A.J. Price? – it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The key is providing Sloan some relief and biding time until Hill and Watson return.
That probably won’t be enough to keep the Pacers in the playoff picture as the season progresses, but it’s their only chance.