UPDATE: Gal Mekel’s deal with the Indiana Pacers fell through after it was discovered that Mekel’s visa status doesn’t allow him to play until Friday following his release last week from the Dallas Mavericks. The Pacers instead signed A.J. Price.
Days after being released by the Dallas Mavericks, Israeli point guard Gal Mekel will sign with the Indiana Pacers, ESPN reports. The two-time Israeli champion reportedly also had interest from Oklahoma City.
The Indiana Pacers, who have a one and four record so far this season, have struggled with injuries and were looking for a smart point guard who could help run head coach Frank Vogel’s offense. Mekel is considered an excellent pick and roll guard and should settle in to Vogel’s offense right away.
Until Rodney Stuckey, George Hill, and C.J. Wastson recover from injuries, Gal Mekel is expected fill the gap and get a lot of time on the court.
The Israeli League former MVP signed a 3-year guaranteed contract with the Dallas Mavericks last summer after leading Israeli club Maccabi Haifa to their first franchise title over European powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Unfortunately for Mekel, he spent the majority of the last season on the bench and was dealt a serious blow when he got injured in the middle of the season. During his recovery, he told me, “I had a good chance in the beginning of the season and I think I played well. I know I can be a good player in this league.”
Mekel will have an opportunity to prove himself on Friday night, when the Pacers face off against the Boston Celtics.
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Raphael Gellar is a freelance football and basketball journalist covering Israeli sports and international football. He tweets at @raphael_gellar.