Former Boston Celtics big man Daniel Theis is about to hit the free agent market, and it appears he already has his next team in mind. On November 15, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported via his X account that Theis and the Indiana Pacers are discussing a buyout, and all indications are that his next team will be the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Daniel Theis and the Indiana Pacers are in serious talks on a contract buyout, which would clear the way for the veteran big man to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers pending a physical exam,” Charania reported.
The Clippers desperately need another big man after Mason Plumlee’s MCL sprain will have him out for two months, as reported by Charania on November 9. They need another backup center in the meantime since their aim is to win a title. If and when Theis signs with the Clippers, he will get to play behind Ivica Zubac and will have a better chance to have more minutes.
The Pacers won’t pick up Theis’ team option for the 2024-25 season regardless of a buyout. Because of that, he clearly has his next contract in mind. If he proves himself in a new role, it could pave the way for him to get another multiyear contract.
Daniel Theis Expressed Frustration With Pacers Role
After the Celtics beat the Pacers on November 2, Daniel Theis expressed his frustration with his lack of minutes. Theis talked about his long-term future while talking with MassLive’s Brian Robb.
“Obviously, after a great summer, I’m not happy with the situation I’m in right now,” Theis told Robb in a November 2 story. “I want to play and take all the good stuff from the summer into the season, but it’s a long season. We are going to see what’s going on and what’s happening.”
Theis added that he had an open mind for what’s to come next.
“There’s communication, but it’s also coach’s decision,” Theis said. “I just stay ready, do my thing, and whatever happens, happens.”
Theis ultimately got his wish now that he’s leaving the Pacers and will join the Clippers. With Theis now out, Aaron Nesmith remains the only former Celtic who remains with the Pacers after the Malcolm Brogdon trade.
Theis to Sign With Clippers on Veteran’s Minimum: Report
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the report on Theis while adding how much money Theis will make upon signing with the Clippers.
“Theis had $7.8 million left on his $9.1 million contract with the Pacers, and will sign a prorated veteran minimum of $2.1 million,” Wojnarowski reported on November 15.
With Theis onboard, the Clippers now have a full roster of 15 full-time contracts. Theis only played one game for the Pacers during the 2023-24 season and only played seven games the season before. This wasn’t necessarily due to Theis’ abilities as much as it was about the Pacers wanting to develop their other centers.
Jalen Smith and Isaiah Jackson are both younger than Theis and fit their young timeline better now that they are being led by Tyrese Haliburton. On the Clippers, Theis doesn’t have to worry about them developing any young big men ahead of him.