INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Pacers point guard T.J. Ford will pick up the player option on the final year of his contract and return to the team next season.

Bob Myers, Ford's agent, said the paperwork is in process. Ford is owed $8.5 million next year.

Ford joined the team via a trade with Toronto two years ago. He averaged a career-high 14.9 points his first season with the Pacers, despite splitting time with Jarrett Jack.

Pacers coach Jim O'Brien had high hopes for Ford heading into this season, but he struggled. O'Brien benched him for a month at midseason in favor of Earl Watson and rookie A.J. Price.

After O'Brien started playing Ford again, he suffered a left groin injury and didn't play after March 12. He averaged 10.3 points in 47 games.