The Indiana Pacers have waived veteran center Serge Ibaka, just days after acquiring him from the Milwaukee Bucks, the team announced on Saturday.

Ibaka was traded from Milwaukee to Indiana ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline on Thursday, but was only included for salary-matching purposes in a four-team trade that sent Jae Crowder to the Bucks and Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns.

A report emerged on Thursday that he would be released by the Pacers, and that was confirmed on Saturday afternoon.

The 33-year-old Ibaka hasn’t been the same after undergoing back surgery. He averaged a career-low 11.6 minutes per game in just 16 appearances for the Bucks this season, averaging 4.1 points per game and 2.8 rebounds per game on .481/.333/.615 shooting in a limited role.

Ibaka and the Bucks agreed that he would remain away from the team as the two sides sought a trade for the veteran big man. After that came in the form of a deal with Indiana, it looks like he won’t play a single game for the franchise.

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Ibaka has been a difference maker in his time in the NBA; he was one of the league’s best shot blockers during his stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder, per HoopsHype.

He was also a key piece of the Toronto Raptors championship run in 2019, helping lead a frontcourt that included Kawhi Leonard as the Raps defeated the Golden State Warriors to win their first title.

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Jesse Cinquini ·

The Pacers are expected to re-sign James Johnson to fill the roster spot that Serge Ibaka’s waive will open, per HoopsHype. Assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, he will clear on Monday.

It’ll be intriguing to see if any team takes a chance on the veteran as the 2022-23 NBA season winds down.