Pacers part with guard A.J. Price

Second stint with team was productive for reserve, but Friday return of forward David West necessitated roster move.

A.J. Price played as he promised, as if his basketball life depended on it. That should mean another opportunity somewhere now that the Indiana Pacers have waived the reserve point guard.

The team had to part ways Friday with Price, who had said upon rejoining the team early this season, “I’m playing for my life.”

There wasn’t an open roster spot with forward David West expected to make his season debut against the Orlando Magic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers had signed Price to a pair of 10-day contracts through the NBA’s injury hardship relief exception.

Price averaged 10.5 points and 2.7 assists in 10 games. Perhaps more telling about his contribution, the short-handed Pacers (6-9) went 5-5 with him playing about 20 minutes per night. That included road wins at Miami, Chicago and Dallas.

The 28-year-old guard was thrilled to rejoin the team for which he played his first three seasons after being drafted with the 52nd overall selection in 2009. At the time Indiana called, he was in negotiations to play in China.

Price scored 22 points to help the Pacers snap a six-game losing streak in a home win against Utah. And he had 21 points in Indian’s victory at Chicago.

But as players return to health, the team couldn’t keep a fourth point guard. Donald Sloan and Rodney Stuckey are the backcourt for now, with C.J. Watson expected to return in the next week or so and eventual starter George Hill by mid-December.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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