Tag Archives: Pacers News

Reports: Myles Turner and Indiana Pacers agree to extension

In a bit of surprise news, Myles Turner and the Indiana Pacers agreed to a contract extension ahead of today’s 6 p.m. deadline with a 4-year, $72 million deal that could go as high as $80 million with bonuses according to ESPN and The Athletic.

This avoids the Pacers needing to deal with restricted free agency next summer and avoids someone coming in with a mammoth offer to try and pry the big man away from Indiana. And for Turner, it puts to rest any worries about getting his next contract.

It ends up being a fairly similar deal to Clint Capela’s 5-year, $90 million contract that he signed this summer. No options have been reported.

This will be a big year for him now to prove he’s worth the new contract. Will he make a leap?

While $18 million per season may sound like a lot, the salary cap is much higher than it was just a few seasons ago when Roy Hibbert was making $15 million per season. And with many teams expected to have a lot of cap space next year, it’s very possible another team may have offered a huge deal to Turner as a RFA.

Even with adding Turner to the guaranteed salaries for next season, the Pacers still will have well over $30 million in cap space next summer.

And while the Pacers also have another center in Domas Sabonis that will be looking for his own rookie extension potentially at this time next year, this doesn’t mean the Pacers won’t be looking to re-sign Sabonis as well.

It’s an important bet for the Pacers on Turner as his development could help put Indiana at another level in the conference than another first-round exit.

If Turner can improve as his contract progresses, his deal could look like a bargain much like Victor Oladipo’s $21 million per year is seen as a bargain now after being seen as a salary dump initially by some media when he was acquired by the Pacers.

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Pacers Edmond Sumner is ready for his opportunity

After an impressive preseason for the Indiana Pacers 2-way player, Edmond Sumner could be poised for a big second season if the opportunity comes.

“”Just stay ready,” Sumner said of what the coaching staff has told him of his role. “Whenever my number is called just be ready.”

There might not be minutes for Sumner immediately when the season begins but if any injury to a guard or small forward occurs, it’ll likely be Sumner that steps up.

“It gives us another look with our depth,” said Darren Collison after practice on Saturday. “It’s such a long season that you never know whose going to have an opportunity to perform or play well or go down with injury God forbid. He can step right in and fulfill a role that we might need down the stretch of the season. He can play some point guard, play some two, maybe even some three. I thought he played well.”

Sumner was the first choice for Nate McMillan in the preseason when both Tyreke Evans and Cory Joseph were out with an injury. With Evans’s injury history, having a capable replacement is paramount and Sumner looks up to the task if needed.

“He’s been playing extremely well in preseason and in training camp proving that he is an NBA basketball player,” said Thad Young after practice. “… He can provide significant help to a team that needs him to step in and spot some guys some minutes and he’s shown the capability to run a team also.”

Sumner showed exactly how he can help the team in preseason with his aggressive drives to the rim. Here he snakes by Jaren Jackson Jr. on the pick and roll and dunks on multiple defenders.

It’s the type of play he couldn’t quite make last season while recovering from a torn ACL and playing in the G-League. Now that he’s fully healthy, he’s showing why he was considered a first-round prospect while at Xavier before the injury.

“I just wanted to do whatever the coaching staff asked of me,” said Sumner of his preseason success. “They wanted me to go out there and defend–that was the biggest thing–and stay aggressive so those were the two things that I was focusing on.”

Not only is he healthy, but he also worked hard over the summer training with Joey Burton, who has worked with Glenn Robinson III and Yogi Ferrell among others. Here’s an example of him translating his workouts to an actual game with the over-the-head swim move on the drive and a tough finish.

Sumner knows he still has plenty of work to do. He says that shooting is “probably one of my biggest weaknesses,” but he shot the 3-pointer fairly well in preseason play on his limited attempts making two of his five shots over four games.

“It’s more about being in the game and knocking down shots,” said Sumner. “I can go out and do a workout do whatever, but I got to go out into the game and translate it and make shots.”

Perhaps the biggest reason that McMillan was so comfortable using him in the preseason was his strong defense. Sumner’s length gives him the versatility to defend the 1, 2 and 3 spots and he averaged 1.5 steals per game in just 15 minutes. You can see his athleticism paying off in a big way on this defensive play.

“I can check multiple positions and I’m willing to defend,” said Sumner, who felt like defense was an overlooked part of his game.

His ability to get into the paint on offense was beneficial to his teammates as well as he was a willing passer when the defense focused on him, setting up Domantas Sabonis and others on many occasions averaging 1.3 assists in his time on the floor. You could see his ability to play point guard while directing traffic in the half court including one play where he waved off Evans so he could initiate the offense.

The Edmond Sumner Hype Train may take a moment before it’s full steam ahead during the regular season but if he gets an opportunity it’s going to be hard to derail it once he gathers momentum.

Sumner is currently on a 2-way contract that gives him only 45 days with the NBA team, but it’d be surprising to see him spend too much time in the G-League this year. He simply looked too good in the preseason. The Pacers may use up his days quickly before converting his deal like they did with Alex Poythress last season.

 

 

Victor Oladipo appears on HBO’s The Shop

Victor Oladipo showed up on the second episode of The Shop on HBO, LeBron James’s new show where athletes and celebrities have an open conversation in a barbershop.

The Indiana Pacers star showed off his singing voice to start the show off.

He also talked about his experience over his first four seasons in the league, the struggles in his only season in Oklahoma City and being traded twice in a year.

Let’s hope Oladipo also used this opportunity to discuss Space Jam 2 opportunities with James and Maverick Carter, who both founded SpringHill Entertainment which is producing the sequel.

Other athletes that appeared on the show include Mo Bamba, Ben Simmons and Elena Della Donne.

You can catch the whole episode on HBO which features a large Drake segment where he discusses the details of the Kanye West/Pusha T events over the summer.

Ben Moore remains on roster as Pacers waive Elijah Stewart and Omari Johnson

The Indiana Pacers announced today that they’ve waived Elijah Stewart and Omari Johnson. This trims down the roster to the required 15 players before Wednesday’s season opener.

Ben Moore is (most likely) the 15th player. It’s possible that this means he made the team but recent history suggests that he could still be waived before the regular season opener.

Last season, the Pacers decided that instead of keeping Jarrod Uthoff, who was in a similar position to Moore at this time last year, as the 15th man, they would keep that roster spot open to start the regular season to have flexibility in case they wanted to add someone down the line.

Moore’s biggest hurdle to permanently making the roster is Edmond Sumner, who doesn’t count towards the 15 currently because of his 2-way contract. Sumner, however, would only get 45 days with the Pacers once the G-League season starts if he remains on a 2-way deal. With his play this preseason, it appears likely that Indiana will want him around all year whether as a possible injury replacement or as a part of the rotation.

This could be a repeat of last season as well as Alex Poythress was on a 2-way contract at the beginning of the year but rarely spent time in Fort Wayne, using up all his 45 days quickly before getting his 2-way converted to an NBA contract. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Pacers go with the same strategy with Sumner here.

It’s possible Moore could be kept on the NBA roster until that time. Moore could even end up with a 2-way deal once again if he is waived as the Pacers will have an opening once they decide how to proceed with 2-way player CJ Wilcox after his torn Achilles took him out for the season.

Moore has been in the Pacers system for a full season now after going undrafted out of SMU, playing for the Pacers in Summer League and preseason last year, spending most of his time in Fort Wayne with the Mad Ants and eventually seeing some time with the NBA team during the season after getting signed to a 2-way contract.

He stayed in Indianapolis to train at the team facilities after the season ended and once again played for the Pacers Summer League team. He’s a hard-nosed defender who makes all the effort plays. As he increases his outside shooting prowess, his likelihood of sticking on a roster will increase.

Stewart and Johnson are both likely candidates to play for the Mad Ants.

Preseason Takeaways: Pacers look ready for the regular season against Cavaliers

The Indiana Pacers won their third preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-102. As said previously, the results don’t really matter but not everything from these preseason games is without value.

This game was an entertaining one from the start. Here are some takeaways that we can look for when the regular season starts in just 9 days.

Victor Oladipo looks poised for a fast start

Victor Oladipo was playing this game in the first half like it was Game 8 in the first round of the playoffs. He scored 10 points within the game’s first five minutes including a pair of pull-up 3-pointers and this ludicrous one-foot step back from the foul line seen early in the video below.

Oladipo only knows one speed and hasn’t been slowing it down for preseason. He’s ready to show how much he’s improved over the offseason once again. It should be a fun start to the season for the Pacers All-Star. He finished with 23 points on only 10 shot attempts in 28 minutes.

Myles Turner’s defensive positioning may be much improved

Myles Turner in his first few seasons has always shown phenomenal rim protection and shot-blocking skills but struggled with constantly being ready in the right position on the defensive end. Instead often using his length to try and make up for his poor positioning. Last night, he was always in the right position to help or protect the rim.

Turner blocked 3 shots including a pair of beautiful rejections of dunk attempts by Sam Dekker, but he altered many more and deterred opposing players away from the rim to prevent a shot attempt often, especially in the third quarter. He also played well anytime he was forced to guard a smaller player on the perimeter.

If Turner makes a leap on that end, this could be a very good Indiana Pacers defense this season.

He struggled to hit his jump shots tonight and finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds but still showed some new skills on the offensive end as well.

The Pacers played Turner alongside Domas Sabonis for only two minutes in this one. Sabonis and Kyle O’Quinn played a lot together in the second quarter but strange that the pairing that has been so heavily discussed has barely seen the court to this point.

Edmond Sumner should spend zero time in Fort Wayne this season

Edmond Sumner looks like the first-round pick talent that some had him rated before his injury at Xavier. He continued his solid preseason play by scoring 11 points in the first half while making all four of his shot attempts.

There looks like there’s not much reason for him to spend time in Fort Wayne this year. He looks like he should not only be on the NBA roster but have a spot in the rotation. Finding minutes for him may be difficult but he’s playing so well he may force Nate McMillan’s hand.

With no Cory Joseph tonight, it was Sumner who came in over rookie Aaron Holiday as the backup point guard and he was the replacement for Tyreke Evans when he missed a game, so it may just take one injury at one of the guard or small forward positions for Sumner to find himself in the rotation.

His passing and control of the offense was especially impressive in this one as he directed traffic and often got good looks for others with nice passes out of the pick and roll. He also made two 3-pointers which if consistent would make him a lock for a real NBA player. Prepare to board the Hype Train before it leaves the station.

Domantas Sabonis is going to get a lot of easy looks

The Domas Sabonis and Tyreke Evans pick and rolls have already been fun to see and Sabonis should reap plenty of benefits from the pairing.

He has also showed continued use of his right-hand in the post. This time making a right-hand hook. His nickname of Reverse Zoolander (can’t turn right) may have to be thrown out this season.

After taking 18 shots in 21 minutes in the last game, he took 15 in 22 minutes in this one with so many of those attempts being set up by Evans out of the pick and roll. You’d like to see Sabonis hit more of his shots (7 for 18, 7 for 15 in last two games) but he’s got an easy double double in every preseason game while playing just a little over 20 minutes each night.

Seeing how this develops into the regular season will be interesting to see.

No additional injuries added to this list

The Pacers have been dealing with a lot of minor injuries among rotation players during the preseason and seemed to avoid any additions to that list and had no major injuries once again. Tony East of 8 points, 9 seconds reported that Thad Young will be back for the regular season opener but held out in the final preseason game so hopefully the Pacers will be at full strength when the season starts.

Preseason Takeaways: Lessons from Pacers overtime loss to Grizzlies

The Indiana Pacers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in their second preseason game last night, but the result of the exhibition match doesn’t matter. With the Pacers resting all five starters, it was a chance for the young guys to get lots of minutes and show whether or not they belonged, and it was an opportunity for the bench unit to develop some chemistry with each other.

Here’s what we learned from Game 2:

Tyreke Evans and Domas Sabonis pick and rolls will be a delight:

These two have quickly developed a rapport on these type of plays in practice and it showed in their first game action together. Domas Sabonis repeatedly got great looks at the basket thanks to Tyreke Evans’s patience on the play, waiting until the right moment to make a quick pass to the Lithuanian big man.

Sabonis struggled to finish many of these looks but finished with an impressive 17 points (7 of 18) and 14 rebounds in only 21 minutes. Evans struggled to make shots as well but still finished with 12 points (3 for 11), 6 rebounds and 3 assists. It should be a blast watching these two run the pick and roll all season.

Evans had some chemistry miscues early with expecting players to go one way and going another or not being ready for a pass from Sabonis but it was good to get those kind of mistakes out of the way in preseason.

Continue reading Preseason Takeaways: Lessons from Pacers overtime loss to Grizzlies

What mattered in the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets

Drawing conclusions from a preseason game is dubious, but after the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets (110-100), we can all agree on one thing: it’s good to have Pacers basketball back.

Though much of the preseason is meaningless there are still a few takeaways that could be meaningful once the games actually matter.

Edmond Sumner looks like an NBA player

Easily the highlight of the game for Indiana was the play of their second-year, two-way contract guard Edmond Sumner.

Sumner filled in for Tyreke Evans, who missed the game with a sprained ankle and played 19 minutes that showed off his athleticism and potential.

Sumner played Evans’s role well and made some impressive drives to the rim throughout the game. His biggest highlight a dunk along the baseline in the first half as he got his first poster of his NBA career.  Continue reading What mattered in the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets

Pacers Victor Oladipo wants to start a campaign to be in Space Jam 2

Indiana Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo wants to be in the Space Jam sequel.

“Yes, let’s start a campaign,” said Oladipo at media day when asked about his desire to be a Monstar in the LeBron James-led Space Jam sequel. “Let’s make this happen. I would be a crazy Monstar. I think that would be pretty dope.”

Oladipo wants a campaign. Let’s give him a campaign.

It may have helped his case if he said one of the four movies he watched every night before going to sleep was Space Jam instead of Home Alone 1 & 2, Shrek or Mulan, but I digress.

The first step to any online campaign has to be the hashtag, so here are some possibilities:  Continue reading Pacers Victor Oladipo wants to start a campaign to be in Space Jam 2

How Alize Johnson could help the Indiana Pacers this season

As the 50th overall draft pick, the Indiana Pacers rookie Alize Johnson has an uphill climb to make an impact on an NBA roster.

That’s nothing new for him. He’s been the overlooked underdog throughout his high school and college career. His story of small high-school guard as a freshman to junior college to Missouri State is well known by Pacers fans by now.

“I have to do things different,” Johnson said before Summer League play. “Being the underdog I have to show some things that I can do consistently. Rebounding is effort. I’m all about hard work and getting into the gyms. Not really being the most athletic person, but just having the grit to go up there every time and get it is something that’s still in my blood. I have siblings back home and a family rooting for me, so when I’m up there grabbing rebounds, that’s what I’m doing it for.”

If you watched him play in Summer League, you were likely to get at least a little caught up in the Alize hype as his high-motor rebounding was on full display and his ability to start the fastbreak was a highlight of the Pacers play in Las Vegas.

“When you’re picking that deep in the draft, the likelihood of that player succeeding, the percentages are certainly working against him,” Pacers GM Chad Buchanan said after the draft, “so you look for like one trait or one skill that a guy possesses that would give him a chance. And Alize has two things for me; he has tremendous motor, and he just has an innate ability to track down rebounds.”

Pacers coach Nate McMillan caught Alize fever during the exhibition games in Vegas.

Continue reading How Alize Johnson could help the Indiana Pacers this season

Indiana Pacers chemistry only getting stronger with new acquisitions

The Indiana Pacers greatest strength last season may have been their chemistry and to this point it looks like it’s only improved over the offseason.

“You know it when you see it,” Myles Turner said of the team’s chemistry after the first training camp practice. “You just feel it.”

Indiana hasn’t played a game yet and you can feel it already. Whether it’s the above picture from media day with most of the returning players laughing together or Bojan Bogdanovic giving Victor Oladipo a huge hug when he first saw him.

Last season was the first year the majority of the team had been with the Pacers as they quickly grew a unique bond. With most of the core contributors returning from last year’s roster, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard thinks those relationships will continue to grow.

Continue reading Indiana Pacers chemistry only getting stronger with new acquisitions

Managing Expectations: Is this the year it all comes together for Myles Turner?

Myles Turner put in work this summer to be ready for this upcoming season with the Indiana Pacers.

Whether he was doing yoga with Domantas Sabonis, working on his strength in the weight room, boxing on a gym floor, playing 1-on-1 after team USA practice with Kevin Durant, Paul George, Devin Booker and Victor Oladipo or showing off some impressive skills in pick-up games with Monta Ellis, that much has been clear; he’s been productive this offseason.

Now, it’s almost time to see how his labors will translate to the court as training camp quickly approaches.

Last year at this time, it was widely expected that Turner would be set for a much bigger role offensively, but Oladipo became a superstar while Turner’s statistical output per game went down in almost all categories as he struggled to find a rhythm through a series of small injuries while playing less minutes per game than in his second season.

Continue reading Managing Expectations: Is this the year it all comes together for Myles Turner?

Report: Trevor Booker nears deal to play in China

Trevor Booker becomes the latest Pacers free agent to join a team in the Chinese Basketball Association according to a report from Alex Kennedy.

The deal with the Brave Dragons isn’t finalized yet but it’s likely that three members of the Indiana Pacers 2017-18 roster will be playing in China next season.

Al Jefferson and Joe Young will also play in China next season.  Continue reading Report: Trevor Booker nears deal to play in China

Indiana Pacers add C.J. Wilcox with 2-way contract

The Indiana Pacers have filled their remaining 2-way contract slot with a wing with some NBA experience in C.J. Wilcox.

Wilcox played for the Pacers in Las Vegas during Summer League and shot the ball very well throughout the team’s five games. He averaged 9.2 points per game and shot 56% from the floor.

He has three seasons of NBA playing experience and 66 games played in the NBA overall between time spent with the Clippers and Magic. He’s played sparingly every season and averages just 2 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game in his career.  Continue reading Indiana Pacers add C.J. Wilcox with 2-way contract

ESPN: Nate McMillan finalizing contract extension with the Indiana Pacers

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Indiana Pacers and Nate McMillan are finalizing a contract extension. McMillan has one year remaining on his contract currently.

McMillan coached the Indiana Pacers to a surprising season last year as they exceeded all reasonable expectations and pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink of elimination in the first round of the playoffs.  Continue reading ESPN: Nate McMillan finalizing contract extension with the Indiana Pacers

JJ Redick nearly joined the Indiana Pacers

On his most recent podcast, JJ Redick said that he was very close to joining the Indiana Pacers in free agency.

“I almost signed with Indy,” Redick said. “I was an hour away, maybe two hours away … I had a whole conversation with Nate McMillan.”

Redick said that his current team the Philadelphia 76ers changed their offer before a deadline he had to decide on a deal with Indiana and he decided to stay put.

If Redick would have signed with the Pacers, it likely would have meant that Tyreke Evans would not have joined the team.  Continue reading JJ Redick nearly joined the Indiana Pacers

Pacers rookie Alize Johnson buys his mother new car

It appears Alize Johnson has made his first big purchase after signing his rookie contract with the Indiana Pacers: a new car for his mother.

In an Instagram post, you can see his mother’s reaction.  Continue reading Pacers rookie Alize Johnson buys his mother new car

Roy Hibbert says it’s “time to move on” from NBA

2-time All-Star Roy Hibbert appears to be done playing basketball telling TMZ Sports that “it’s just time to move on.”

Hibbert, 31, didn’t play last season and his name hasn’t popped up in rumor mills all offseason. He last played in the NBA during the 2016-17 season for the Denver Nuggets.

“I’m good on that,” he said when asked if he would want to play with LeBron James in Los Angeles, saying that he wasn’t training at the moment and felt like it was time to move on from basketball.  Continue reading Roy Hibbert says it’s “time to move on” from NBA

Alize Johnson signs deal with Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers second-round pick Alize Johnson shared a picture on Instagram of him signing his first contract.

Johnson, the 50th overall pick, looked good in Las Vegas Summer League, showing his relentless nature on the glass, ability to guard multiple positions and talent in transition. He averaged 12.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in Vegas.  Continue reading Alize Johnson signs deal with Indiana Pacers

Rodney Stuckey attempts an NBA comeback

Rodney Stuckey is trying to get back into the NBA.

Stuckey is hosting a private workout for teams in Las Vegas according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

Stuckey was out of the NBA all last season and hasn’t been picked up since the Indiana Pacers waived him after an injury, which cleared the way for Lance Stephenson to make his return at the time.  Continue reading Rodney Stuckey attempts an NBA comeback

Summer League Grades: Pacers have a few solid performances despite losing big lead

The Indiana Pacers fell in the first-round of the Las Vegas Summer League to the Atlanta Hawks. After building up a 27-point lead early in the third quarter, the Hawks slowly chipped away at the Pacers lead until suddenly it was gone. Trae Young finished them off with some ridiculous passes to keep holding the Atlanta lead down the stretch.

The Pacers will have a single remaining consolation game on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets at 4 p.m.

This was easily the most entertaining game for the Summer Pacers, even with the disappointing ending, with many players having their best games in Las Vegas.

Continue reading Summer League Grades: Pacers have a few solid performances despite losing big lead