Indiana looked for a way around this for the last few days, trying to trade away other assets to keep Magnum Rolle on the roster. Didn’t work out.
Rolle was not blowing anybody away in his limited preseason minutes, but the point with him was always potential. Which is why the Pacers traded with Oklahoma City to get him. There were questions about how much he would improve at age 24, but the raw athleticism was enough to get him a shot.
And Indiana liked what they saw enough to want to keep Rolle and move Solomon Jones, but it’s a numbers game.
With injuries to Jeff Foster and Tyler Hansbrough, the Pacers were thin across the front line behind Roy Hibbert. They needed 6’10” Jones for depth, just in case. Also, it cost $50,000 to buy Rolle out, while Jones had a guaranteed $1.5 million due him, cut or not.
The NBA is a business. A cold, hard business. Rolle got that lesson, some cash and will get the chance to be paid to play at some level this season (hello D-League). If he can start to harness that athleticism, he won’t be the last cut from an NBA team next time around.