Pacers Summer League Preview

The Indiana Pacers announced their roster for the Orlando Summer League earlier this week. The roster features many familiar faces including five players likely to suit up for the blue and gold next season and will be coached by Popeye Jones, Pacers assistant coach. The team will play five games that will run through the heart of the NBA free agency madness from July 2 through July 8 (Pacers schedule below). No one’s playing in the Summer League without something to prove and we’ll look at what some of the key players on the roster need to work on.  Continue reading Pacers Summer League Preview

Potential Free Agent Targets for the Pacers

The Pacers have already had a busy offseason: adding two starters in Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young before the NBA draft. These two likely starters will most likely be the biggest moves Larry Bird and the Pacers make in preparation for the 2016-2017 season. They have two remaining spots on their roster available if they plan to sign second-round pick, Georges Niang. ICYMI: Here’s an in-depth analysis on what the Pacers are likely to do with their own free agents. I recommend reading that post before this one.

Depending on whether the Pacers decide to keep any of their free agents, they are generally seen to have anywhere from $12 – 20 million in cap space (depending on whether or not they want to keep Ian Mahinmi) to spend on the last two roster spots and a potential renegotiation of the newly acquired Teague’s contract. While the Pacers could look to trade one of their ball dominant guards (Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey), nothing has indicated to this point that is part of Bird’s plan. During his post-draft press conference, Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers General Manager and second in command to Bird, mentioned how the Pacers see other teams having success by always having four or five playmakers on the court at all times. Bird likely sees both Ellis and Stuckey as key pieces that the Pacers will need for their plan to fill the court with playmakers. I could go on and on about the potential pitfalls here for the Pacers, so that’s another post for another day. For the sake of this article, I will assume the Pacers are not planning on trading away any of their current pieces. (I’m sure since I wrote this that Bird will quickly trade away someone before free agency even starts.)

Since the Pacers have only a max of about $20 million in cap room, we can immediately cross off the cream of the crop in this free agency class: Kevin Durant, Nicolas Batum, Al Horford, and Mike Conley. The Pacers likely never had much of a chance at any of these guys anyway despite awesome hashtags like #KevINDYrant. They will not be discussed here as viable options. One other thing that should be known about the Pacers: they do not go after restricted free agents (RFA) per the owner’s policy. So, going after young guys just coming off of their rookie contracts like Allen Crabbe, Evan Fournier, Troy Daniels, etc. will not be an option for Bird and the Pacers due to this organizational limitation.

With the Pacers starting lineup likely set barring another trade,– Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner– the Pacers will be looking for players that can fill specific bench roles with their last two spots on the roster. Here are some options (both good and bad):  Continue reading Potential Free Agent Targets for the Pacers

Nate McMillan fills out coaching staff

Indiana Pacers announced who all will be on Nate McMillan’s coaching staff. Defensive guru Dan Burke and Popeye Jones both will return, while McMillan adds Bill Bayno as his top assistant. Bayno and McMillman worked together during nearly all of McMillan’s time as a head coach with the Portland Trailblazers.

“I was impressed with him then,” said McMillan on his time with Bayno in Portland, “and always hoped I would have the opportunity to work with him again.”  Continue reading Nate McMillan fills out coaching staff

Paul George will still be PG-13 with USA Basketball

USA Basketball officially announced its roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics early this morning. Here’s a look at the 12-man roster that includes Indiana Pacers star Paul George:

They’ve also reassigned each player a number from 1-15 per tradition of USA Basketball (also might be a rule of Olympics for all teams). So, what number did Paul George, who was wearing 29 when working out with Olympic team in the past, pick or get assigned? 13 of course, and the jerseys are 🔥🔥🔥 (fire for those of you without emojis).  Continue reading Paul George will still be PG-13 with USA Basketball

Will the Pacers re-sign any of their free agents?

The Pacers have already made some major changes to their roster in the early stages of the off-season: trading George Hill for Jeff Teague in a 3-team deal and trading their 1st-round pick for Thaddeus Young. If the Pacers sign 2nd-round pick Georges Niang, that’ll put the Pacers roster at 13 players under contract for next season with only two open roster spots left. The Pacers have four free agents from last year’s team: Ian Mahinmi, Solomon Hill, Jordan Hill, and Ty Lawson. Let’s take a look at each player and the likelihood that the Pacers will retain their services for the 2016-17 season.  Continue reading Will the Pacers re-sign any of their free agents?

Pacers draft a playmaker in Georges Niang

With the Pacers trading away their first-round selection for Thaddeus Young just hours before the draft and acquiring Jeff Teague in a swap of hometown heroes the day prior, most of the excitement for the Pacers was done early yesterday, but the Pacers still had the 50th overall selection in the second round. With this pick, the Pacers selected senior forward Georges Niang out of Iowa State.

Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard seemed very pleased in his post-draft press conference that Niang was still available when the Pacers were on the clock.

“We thought very highly of him,” said Pritchard on the 23-year-old Niang, who averaged 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists last season. “We didn’t think he’d get to 50. We had him a lot higher on the board, so we were pretty excited that he got to 50.”  Continue reading Pacers draft a playmaker in Georges Niang

Pacers acquire Thaddeus Young for 1st-round pick

Update: Trade is now official on July 7, 2016.

You might want to take shelter if you’re in the Indianapolis area. Woj Bombs have been spotted twice in the last two days: first, the Pacers swap hometown heroes (analysis here), and today the Pacers have acquired Thaddeus Young from the Brooklyn Nets.

The Pacers give up their 20th pick in this year’s draft and a future 2nd-round pick. Thad Young will slide immediately into the Pacers starting lineup at the power forward position.  Continue reading Pacers acquire Thaddeus Young for 1st-round pick

Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 4

Welcome to the iPacers.com Pacers draft preview! This is the fourth and final part of a 4-part series, detailing 20 options for the 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. To get my 20 options, I reviewed 31 different mock drafts and found 17 different players that were picked for the Pacers at the 20th spot; I also added three more potential options to make it an even 20 that were often mentioned around the Pacers range.

I’ve noted each players “Mock Draft Range,” which is the highest and lowest the player was picked and “Mock Draft Average,” which is the average spot each player was selected in the mocks. Anytime a player wasn’t selected in a mock draft, I assigned their selection at 35 (Some mock drafts included second rounds, while others did not). If the average pick was over 30, then I put their mock average at 2nd-round.
I’ve included some short analysis on each player with two reasons to draft them and two reasons to pass. For more detailed analysis, you can search on Youtube for videos from Draft Express that detail strengths and weaknesses for each player along with highlight examples for what they’re talking about.

If you missed any of the previous parts:

Part 1: Tyler Ulis, Brice Johnson, Domantas Sabonis, Wade Baldwin IV, and Demetrius Jackson

Part 2: Taurean Prince, Malachi Richardson, Diamond Stone, Damian Jones, and Juan Hernangomez

Part 3: Malik Beasley, Denzel Valentine, Thon Maker, Cheick Diallo, and Timothe Luwawu

Part 4: Caris Lavert, Ben Bentil, Furkan Korkmaz, Dejounte Murray, and Stephen Zimmerman Jr.  Continue reading Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 4

Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 3

Welcome to the iPacers.com Pacers draft preview! This is the third part of a 4-part series, detailing 20 options for the 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. To get my 20 options, I reviewed 31 different mock drafts and found 17 different players that were picked for the Pacers at the 20th spot; I also added three more potential options to make it an even 20 that were often mentioned around the Pacers range.

I’ve noted each players “Mock Draft Range,” which is the highest and lowest the player was picked and “Mock Draft Average,” which is the average spot each player was selected in the mocks. Anytime a player wasn’t selected in a mock draft, I assigned their selection at 35 (Some mock drafts included second rounds, while others did not). If the average pick was over 30, then I put their mock average at 2nd-round.

I’ve included some short analysis on each player with two reasons to draft them and two reasons to pass. For more detailed analysis, you can search on Youtube for videos from Draft Express that detail strengths and weaknesses for each player along with highlight examples for what they’re talking about.

If you missed the first two parts detailing the following prospects click on the one you want to read about: Tyler Ulis, Brice Johnson, Domantas Sabonis, Demetrius Jackson, Wade Baldwin IV, Taurean Prince, Malachi Richardson, Juan Hernangomez, Diamond Stone, and Damian Jones. A link will be here when Part 4 is available.

In this part, we’ll take a look at the following potential choices for the Pacers: Cheick Diallo, Thon Maker, Denzel Valentine, Malik Beasley, and Timothe Luwawu.  Continue reading Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 3

Pacers swap Hometown Heroes, acquire Jeff Teague in 3-team deal

WE HAVE A WOJ BOMB. The Indiana Pacers have made a big 3-team trade the day before the NBA draft. The Pacers will acquire Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks and send George Hill to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are sending the 12th pick in the first round to the Hawks to complete the deal.

The Pacers have essentially swapped Indianapolis-grown point guards: George Hill for Jeff Teague. They both have one year and $8 million left on their contracts, but Woj also reports that the Pacers are working on an extension.

Only a few weeks ago, Teague was interviewed for a local television station by Pacers PA Announcer Michael Grady and he said that he would be interested in playing for his hometown Pacers someday. Teague, like Hill, grew up in Indianapolis and played for a local high school (Teague: Pike, Hill: Broad Ripple).  Continue reading Pacers swap Hometown Heroes, acquire Jeff Teague in 3-team deal

Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 2

Welcome to the iPacers.com Pacers draft preview! This is the second part of a 4-part series, detailing 20 options for the 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. To get my 20 options, I reviewed 31 different mock drafts and found 17 different players that were picked for the Pacers at the 20th spot; I also added three more potential options to make it an even 20 that were often mentioned around the Pacers range.

I’ve noted each players “Mock Draft Range,” which is the highest and lowest the player was picked and “Mock Draft Average,” which is the average spot each player was selected in the mocks. Anytime a player wasn’t selected in a mock draft, I assigned their selection at 35 (Some mock drafts included second rounds, while others did not). If the average pick was over 30, then I put their mock average at 2nd-round.

I’ve included some short analysis on each player with two reasons to draft them and two reasons to pass. For more detailed analysis, I’ve posted videos from Draft Express that detail their strengths and weaknesses along with highlights.

In the second part, we’ll look at the following players: Damian Jones, Diamond Stone, Juan Hernangomez, Malachi Richardson, and Taurean Prince. If you missed part one (Tyler Ulis, Brice Johnson, Wade Baldwin IV, Demetrius Jackson, and Domantas Sabonis), it can be found hereContinue reading Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 2

The NBA is rigged? Stephen Jackson and Metta World Peace have something to say about that

If you watched game six of the NBA Finals last night and enjoy basketball Twitter, you probably saw Ayesha Curry’s tweet that got over 80,000 RTs and 70,000 likes before she finally deleted it. In her frustration during what apparently was a difficult night (besides just the game), she tweeted out that the “NBA is rigged!” in response to her husband fouling out. Today, the infamous duo of the Malice at the Palice, Metta World Peace, the player formerly known as Ron Artest, and Stephen Jackson, were the voices of reason on the subject. Seriously.

ayesha-curry-tweet

Warning: Both videos contain vulgar language.  Continue reading The NBA is rigged? Stephen Jackson and Metta World Peace have something to say about that

Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 1

Welcome to the iPacers.com Pacers draft preview! This will be a 4-part series, detailing 20 options for the 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. To get my 20 options, I reviewed 31 different mock drafts and found 17 different players that were picked for the Pacers at the 20th spot; I also added three more potential options to make it an even 20 that were often mentioned around the Pacers range.

I’ve noted each players “Mock Draft Range,” which is the highest and lowest the player was picked and “Mock Draft Average,” which is the average spot each player was selected in the mocks. Anytime a player wasn’t selected in a mock draft, I assigned their selection at 35 (Some mock drafts included second rounds, while others did not). If the average pick was over 30, then I put their mock average at 2nd-round.

I’ll also include some short analysis on each player with videos from Draft Express that detail their strengths and weaknesses along with highlights.

Today, we’ll look at the 5 players that came up the most often at the 20th pick in review of these various mock drafts: Tyler Ulis, Brice Johnson, Domantas Sabonis, Demetrius Jackson, & Wade Baldwin IV.  Continue reading Pacers 2016 NBA Draft Preview: Part 1

CONFIRMED: Paul George is the cover athlete for NBA 2K17

UPDATE: 9:10 PM EST 2K has confirmed via their feed of their “Road to the Finals” tournament that Paul George is the cover athlete for the standard edition of NBA 2K17. 

Paul George said he was excited for the opportunity especially since he’s been a player of the video game for a long time. “This is part of being in the NBA,” said George. “Wanting to get the cover. Wanting to be the best.”

In an item that has since been removed from PlayStation’s website, a pre-order for the NBA 2k17 game was available for PS4, including 2 Kobe-inspired legend editions, along with the regular edition. The cover athlete for this edition is to be announced tomorrow evening, but Sony may have let the cat out of the bag early as the pre-order page shows Paul George as the cover athlete.

https://twitter.com/its_whitney/status/737779841571782656

Continue reading CONFIRMED: Paul George is the cover athlete for NBA 2K17

Another day, another honor for Paul George

Paul George was named to the All-NBA Third Team for the third time in his career. This award comes just one day after Paul George was named to an All-Defensive Team for the third time.

His third selection ties an Indiana Pacers record for All-NBA selections with Jermaine O’Neal and Reggie Miller, who both had 3 as well. It’s only the 10th time a Pacer has been selected (Ron Artest or Metta World Peace is the other).  Continue reading Another day, another honor for Paul George

Paul George earns All-Defensive Second Team selection

The NBA announced their All-Defensive Teams today and the Pacers had one player selected to the Second Team: Paul George.

It was a close call for George. He had the least amount of points and first-team votes of any of the ten players selected. Jae Crowder nearly overtook George, but lost out on the final forward spot by one point (48-47). Two players that were not among the ten selected actually finished ahead of George in points, but Rudy Gobert (64) plays Center and Klay Thompson (49) is listed as a guard.  Continue reading Paul George earns All-Defensive Second Team selection

Paul George appears in two new Papa John’s commercials

Paul George is no Peyton Manning when it comes to being a spokesperson in commercials, but he’s racking up his commercial IMDB credits, including two new commercials from one that Peyton is intimately familiar with: Papa John’s.

The first new commercial has Paul George and Papa John squaring off in a dunk contest.

Continue reading Paul George appears in two new Papa John’s commercials

Pacers “new voice” at coach is a familiar one

Only a couple of days after saying that Pacers “haven’t started yet” on the team’s coaching search, Larry Bird surprised everyone; the Vertical reported last night that the Pacers are finalizing a deal to promote Nate McMillan to head coach.

McMillan has been with the Pacers as the Associate Head Coach or lead assistant for Frank Vogel for the last three seasons. He took the job after Brian Shaw left the same position to be a head coach with the Denver Nuggets.

Continue reading Pacers “new voice” at coach is a familiar one

Mylestones: Turner gets invite for USA Basketball Select Team

Myles Turner accepted an invitation to participate with USA Basketball Team Select this summer. Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star reported the news:

It’s a big honor for the 20-year-old Pacer as he’ll get to train and scrimmage with the Olympic team for a week in the summer. Perhaps with his teammate Paul George if he decides to participate this year. It’s a way for USA Basketball to get young players involved and familiar with its culture early in their careers. It’s often the first step to eventually being on the Olympic team and a decent predictor of future success in the league.

Continue reading Mylestones: Turner gets invite for USA Basketball Select Team