Visa Woes Force NBA's Indiana to Dump Gal Mekel

Pacers had flown in Israeli free agent point guard to meet team, but he could not secure work visa before its deadline to sign him passed.

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Dallas Mavericks' Gal Mekel, right, shielding the ball against the Denver Nuggets.Credit: AP

The Indiana Pacers dropped plans to sign Israeli free agent point guard Gal Mekel over a visa hitch, American sports media reported late last week.

"Because of a procedural delay in securing new visa for a foreign player, Pacers' plan to sign Gal Mekel has been thrown into jeopardy," ESPN's Marc Stein tweeted Thursday, which was the deadline for the Pacers' waiver from the NBA to sign a 16th player. "But procedural issues could prevent Mekel from securing new P1 Visa until Friday, potentially forcing Indy to sign a different player today."

Instead, the Pacers signed A.J. Price.

Mekel, who played for the Dallas Mavericks last season, was waived earlier this season. The Israeli had flown out to Boston on Wednesday in advance of meeting the team before Indiana's plans fell through.