Tag Archives: rumors

Pacers offering teams cap relief for a first-round pick

ESPN is reporting that the Indiana Pacers have been aggressive in seeking teams out that may be looking to unload salary at the deadline. In exchange for taking on a contract, the Pacers are looking to acquire a first-round pick.

Al Jefferson’s contract is only guaranteed for $4 million next season, so it could provide relief for a team facing the luxury tax or looking to create more space for possible free agent signings.

Tony East of 8 points, 9 seconds says the Pacers could take back $15.55 million in any deal while sending out Jefferson, so a team could possibly save up to $11 million for next season’s cap.

While it’s possible that a team will look to do this type of deal now, it seems more likely to happen this summer. The Pacers also have partially guaranteed deals for Darren Collison and Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Pacers are in no hurry to trade key pieces from this year’s group.

When teams get closer to the free agency season around the draft, they may be more anxious to clear space and then Kevin Pritchard and company can offer the partial guarantees as a way to gather draft picks and assets to the Pacers.

A team that may work now would be the Nuggets. The numbers even work out perfectly.

Nets another possibility though it seems unlikely this deal would include a pick from the Nets.

Indiana Pacers GM: “We’re in no hurry to change up anything with this team”

Before another thrilling comeback victory at home last night, Chad Buchanan, Indiana Pacers General Manager, was interviewed by Jeremiah Johnson and Quinn Buckner on the Fox Sports Indiana pregame show.

Don’t expect the Pacers to be very active at the trade deadline as the front office of Kevin Pritchard, Buchanan and company are pleased with the way the group has performed and bonded so far.

“We’re in no hurry to change up anything with this team,” said Buchanan, when asked about how the front office is approaching the deadline. “… It’d be great to get into the playoffs because I don’t think anybody anticipated us getting to where we’re at today, but we’re also not going to sacrifice long-term sustainability for a short-term run.”

Continue reading Indiana Pacers GM: “We’re in no hurry to change up anything with this team”

With Kemba Walker available, should the Pacers make a deal?

Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker has been made available in trades according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Hornets would be looking to unload one of their bad contracts (they have a lot of them) in any potential deal that included Walker, who is averaging 21.7 points and 5.8 assists, according to Wojnarowski.

Any time an All-Star caliber player (Walker was selected as an All Star last season), every team, including the Indiana Pacers, has to consider whether or not they should pursue that player. Kevin Pritchard and company will have to do their due diligence and weigh the pros and the cons of any possible Walker deal.

Continue reading With Kemba Walker available, should the Pacers make a deal?

Pacers still open to re-signing CJ Miles 

The Indiana Pacers re-signing CJ Miles is still a possibility reports Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports.

The Pacers just agreed to terms with Bojan Bogdanovic, a shooting combo-forward, to a 2-year, $21 million deal, but Agness reports this does not eliminate them from trying to sign Miles.

Miles does have interest from numerous NBA teams that are likely looking to sign him to a MLE deal worth around $8 million per season. 

The Pacers hold Miles’s Bird rights and would be able to go over the cap to sign him if necessary, though they could still have around $13 million in space if they stretch Monta Ellis.

Miles has spent the last three seasons with the Pacers and shot a career high 41% from 3-point range last season.


Miles may be looking for a longer term contract than the Pacers are willing to give as they’ve been signing players to short-term deals so far this off-season to keep as much cap space as possible available for next season.

Rumor: Pacers interested in free agent Kelly Olynyk

The Indiana Pacers are rumored to be among interested teams for Kelly Olynyk after the center became an unrestricted free agent when the Boston Celtics renounced his rights after Gordon Hayward decided to come to the Celtics.

Olynyk, 26, averaged 9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists for the Celtics last season playing 20 minutes per game. Woj reports that many teams are showing interested now that he’s an UFA.

It’s the third big man the Pacers have been rumored to be interested in this offseason after Taj Gibson (who signed with the Wolves) and Willie Reed (still a free agent).

The Pacers roster is already packed with power forwards and centers so more moves will be likely if they sign any of these players.

Rumor: Pacers, Raptors have discussed a deal for Cory Joseph

The Indiana Pacers have discussed a deal with the Toronto Raptors involving point guard Cory Joseph according to Basketball Insiders and other media outlets.

The Pacers have a hole at point guard on their roster as Lance Stephenson and Joe Young are the only possible PGs on the team currently. Joseph would add a veteran presence and his contract isn’t a long-term investment.

Joseph averaged 9.2 points and 3.3 assists per game while backing up Kyle Lowry in Toronto. It’s unclear what the Pacers would be sending to Toronto in this deal or if any other players are involved at this time.

The Raptors are motivated to clear some cap space, so the Pacers may not have to give up anything of value for him. However, Scotto reports that the Raptors are looking for draft pick compensation for Joseph, but the Pacers should be reluctant to give up a first-round pick now that they’re rebuilding.

For now the talks have slowed down, but Nate Taylor reports that the teams will revisit the talks. The Pacers think Joseph fits their plans, but are a little concerned that he’ll decline his player option after next season.

Taylor says the Pacers could send out a 2nd-round pick in a potential deal, but the Pacers second-round pick is controlled by the Brooklyn Nets from the Thad Young trade currently. The Nets only receive the 2nd-round pick once the Pacers fail to make the playoffs which could happen this year. 

The Pacers could do something like offer the opposite protections on this year’s 2nd-round pick so if Nets don’t get the pick then the Raptors would. If the Nets get this year’s 2nd-round pick, the Raptors could have the Pacers 2019 2nd-round pick.

The Pacers could also try to acquire a second-round pick from another team to facilitate the deal.

You may remember Joseph from the playoff series two years ago when Rodney Stuckey made Joseph question his existence with a pass fake.

Rumor: Pacers interested in Taj Gibson and Willie Reed

The Pacers are rumored to be interested in a pair of big men in the free agent market: Taj Gibson and Willie Reed.

The Pacers interest in bigs is peculiar given the current logjam of power forwards and centers currently on the roster: Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, TJ Leaf, Domantas Sabonis, Al Jefferson, Rakeem Christmas, Ike Anigbogu, Georges Niang, Kevin Seraphin and Ben Moore.

The Pacers interest may not become serious unless they are able to move some of their other bigs in a trade.

Reed, 27, would be a good young-ish guy to give an opportunity too if the roster wasn’t stuffed with guys that play his position. He’s one of the iPacers free agents to target for the rebuild.

Gibson spent the last half of the season with the Oklahoma City Thunder after being traded from the Chicago Bulls. Reed spent one season with the Miami Heat, playing well in limited starting opportunities.

Update: George Hill signs with Kings Rumor: Pacers interested in bringing George Hill back to Indiana

Update: George Hill gets the same deal from the Sacramento Kings that Jeff Teague got from the Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 years, $57 million.

The Pacers have traded Paul George and are moving into building a new team around Myles Turner.

The biggest opening on the current makeup of the roster is at point guard and the latest rumor has the Pacers interested in a familiar face: George Hill.

Hill has been connected to multiple teams including the Spurs, Knicks and Nuggets, but this is the first we’ve heard the Pacers mentioned as potential suitors. 

The Pacers traded away Hill to the Jazz last season in a 3-team deal for Jeff Teague, who agreed to a 3-year deal with the Timberwolves as free agency started last night. 

Hill and newly acquired Victor Oladipo would make up a fierce defensive backcourt, much different than the undersized Teague and Ellis combination that the Pacers were starting for much of last season.

Hill will likely command a large contract worth somewhere close to $20 million per season. The Pacers have around $25 million in cap space and will have to decide if the 31-year-old that missed a lot of games last season is worth the large contract.

Update: Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports that the Pacers are not serious about going after George Hill.

Update: Jeff Teague gets 3 year, $57 million from Timberwolves 

Update: https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/880999575124758528

Marc Stein is reporting that the New York Knicks are giving up their chase for Jeff Teague as they believe he has already committed to the Minnesota Timberwolves before free agency officially starts at midnight.

Teague had one of the best seasons of his career while averaging 15.3 points and 7.8 assists and will likely receive a hefty contract from the Wolves, who had a vanancy at point guard after trading Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz.

Teague was rumored to have preferred to stay in Indy on a fair market deal, but the Pacers were probably reluctant to give big money to Teague as they enter a rebuilding phase now that Paul George will be leaving.

The Pacers meanwhile are rumored to be interested in recently waived Rajon Rondo.

Celtics and Pacers seem far apart in Paul George negotiations

Yesterday, it was reported that the last demand from Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers to the Celtics for Paul George was starting player(s) plus the 2018 Nets first-round pick and the 2018 Lakers or 2019 Kings first-round pick. The Celtics found this to be “unrealistic.”

Today, Zach Lowe of ESPN reported that the Celtics haven’t offered any of the following in a potential trade for George: the 2018 Nets first-round pick, the 2018 Lakers or 2019 Kings first-round pick, Jaylen Brown, or Jayson Tatum. 

So neither of the picks that Pritchard wants are currently on the table for the Pacers. Lowe states that his guess for the Celtics standing offer is currently something like Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and either of the protected first-round picks that Boston owns from the Grizzlies and Clippers.

Maybe this will change if the Celtics sign Gordon Hayward in free agency and then Paul George says that he’s open to staying in Boston past just this season. The path to this may have already started as the Jazz have acquired Ricky Rubio, which means George Hill will be going elsewhere. Hayward was rumored to be wanting the Jazz to re-sign Hill, so he may be more likely to leave now that Hill’s gone.

The Rubio trade also created another suitor for Pacers free agent Jeff Teague as the Timberwolves will be in need of a point guard.

But as of now on the eve of free agency, it appears that a deal between the Pacers and Celtics isn’t close to happening without a compromise that leads somewhere in the middle of the Pacers demands and the Celtics current offer. Lowe states that if one of the picks that Pritchard covets moves into the deal, it’s likely George becomes a Celtic.

Pacers have high demands to make a Paul George trade with Celtics

Kevin Pritchard is continuing to play hardball and be as patient as possible while trying to get the most he possibly can in a Paul George trade.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports that Pritchard’s current demands from the Celtics would be the Nets 2018 pick, the Lakers 2018 pick, and starting player(s).

Danny Ainge and the Celtics see this as “unrealistic.”

It was reported previously by The Vertical that the Celtics would be willing to part with a significant amount of assets for George if they are able to sign Gordon Hayward in free agency, but Pritchard’s demands are even higher than what that rumored package from the Celtics would be in this situation.

There’s no issue with Pritchard aiming high for now as he still has plenty of time before the season to find a deal for George. It’s unlikely his demands will remain this high, but it could at least push Ainge to offer a little more than they would have originally, especially if they’re able to sign Hayward.

Jeff Teague and the Knicks have mutual interest per ESPN

Indianapolias native Jeff Teague and the New York Knicks have mutual interest now that Phil Jackson and his Triangle offense are out of the picture per ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Yesterday, there was a report that Teague would be interested in coming back to his hometown team, but it’s unclear if the Pacers will be looking to re-sign him as they contemplate whether or not to rebuild.

The Knicks had tried to trade for Teague in the past while he was still a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

Teague had arguably his best season in the NBA last year with the Pacers as he averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 assists per game.

Woj: Celtics trying to pair Gordon Hayward and Paul George

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported today that the Boston Celtics are wanting to get a commitment from Gordon Hayward once free agency starts on July 1 and then acquire Paul George in a trade with the Indiana Pacers.

Woj’s league sources tell him that the Celtics have a strong belief that they’ll be able to re-sign George to an extension and that is making them more likely to part with a significant package of players and picks.

The Pacers believe the Celtics could potentially offer the best package, but Woj says they may not want to wait until free agency to make a deal for George.

The Celtics have young players like Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Jae Crowder as well as a plethora of potential high draft picks in their arsenal to create a suitable package for George.

If Celtics GM Danny Ainge is willing to give up some of these prized assets, Kevin Pritchard won’t find a better deal for George, but Ainge has been notoriously reluctant to part with very much in recent years in potential deals.

Woj also reports that the Celtics backup plan is to try and sign Blake Griffin to pair with George.

Meanwhile, George has apparently already tried to recruit Klay Thompson to play with him in Los Angeles.

Cavaliers, Nuggets, Pacers have talked 3-way Paul George trade

The latest rumor in the Paul George saga is that Cleveland may have found a team interested in Kevin Love in the Denver Nuggets to facilitate the 3-team deal to acquire George, according to Marc Stein and Chris Haynes of ESPN.

The Nuggets have the perfect group of young prospects and picks that Kevin Pritchard may desire to kick start the Pacers rebuild.

Their best young players Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are untouchable according to Stein, but they still have young players in Gary Harris, Malik Beasley, Emmanuel Mudiay, Juan Hernangomez, Trey Lyles and new draft pick Tyler Lydon.

Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler and Mudiay are known to be available currently and could help match salaries. In one version of the 3-team deal,  Faried would actually end up in Cleveland according to Stein.

The Pacers were also rumored to be interested in Danilo Gallinari before the Paul George announcement, but perhaps he could be part of a sign and trade though that seems unlikely.

The rumored deal was talked about during draft night, but they were unable to reach an agreement then. The Nuggets may not want to give up a package of assets that Pritchard feels like is enough at this time as he’s been determined to take a patient, methodical approach to try and get the best deal possible.

Paul George Draft Day Trade Rumors

This will be updated throughout the day until a trade happens.

Woj on the Vertical’s draft show just stated that Pacers do not expect that a Paul George deal will happen tonight. The Celtics talks broke down and stalled in the middle of the first round.


The Lakers traded the 28th pick to the Jazz which would officially end the possibility of the deal on the table of 27, 28, and either Randle or Clarkson. At this point, it doesn’t seem likely that the Pacers are going to find a deal tonight and may have to wait until after free agency.


Pacers draft a sweet-shooting power forward from UCLA in TJ Leaf. Some other players were on the board that may have been interesting, but Pacers went with Leaf. Myles Turner likes him.


Talks have stalled with Pacers and Celtics.


Celtics in serious talks for Paul George, but still a ways to go.


This would take the Wolves out of the Paul George sweepstakes.


Wolves talks for George have involved Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and picks. If it was all of the above, I’m not sure what the Pacers are waiting on to accept the offer.


Rockets still trying to get George from Indiana, but it may be a complicated thing to pull off.


Blazers pursuit seems to have failed.


Newest contenders in the Paul George race are the Trailblazers and the Spurs. Even better news, PG and the Spurs have mutual interest. This is the first time that George has had any interest in a team other than the Lakers, which is great news for Pritchard and his leverage. This could force LA to up their offer. While George wouldn’t commit past this season, it would seem to leave some hope for Spurs in keeping him that he’s interested in at least this season.

Kyler reports he has no sense of the Spurs offer. They have been searching for LaMarcus Aldridge trade partners.


The Timberwolves are a team that has not been mentioned previously in the PG rumors. Perhaps something like #7 and LaVine for George?



It appears George has already begun moving, but Myles Turner tweeted out that this wasn’t his house before deleting that tweet, so who knows.


The Cavaliers have exited the Paul George race as they could not get teams interested in Kevin Love in any potential 3-team deals.

Paul George Trade Rumors Day 4

This page will be updated throughout the day with the latest Paul George rumors with the most recent news at the top.

This article states the 27, 28 picks plus either Clarkson or Randle remains the Lakers offer, but Pacers have yet to accept. Teams remain at a standstill at this point.


The best offers are the suspected to be most likely suspects by league executives. The Celtics, Lakers, and Cavaliers all known to be making plays for George.


Even with the willing to wait talk from earlier today, it would be surprising if the Pacers dragged this out past draft night tomorrow.



This could be an opportunity for the  Cavaliers to see if Phoenix is interested in Kevin Love and make it a 3-team trade to get Paul George, or (less likely) the Suns may want Paul George.


Cavs still trying to get George, while Amico reports that Pacers are still hoping to get a deal done by draft night, which contradicts the reports that they’re willing to wait. 


Kravitz joins the Indy Star’s Nate Taylor in reporting that Pacers are willing to wait this out in hopes of better offers.


Here’s a bunch of possible deals the Pacers could try and pursue for George. More added with five new teams today.


Kevin Arnovitz says the Trailblazers have the best package to offer George, but this doesn’t mean that Portland has made an offer to this point. The Trailblazers have 3 first round picks at 15, 20, and 26 which are all better than the two Lakers picks on the table.


On The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski podcast, Woj gave a lot of information on the current trade of the trade market for Paul George.

Woj said the Pacers are not very enthusiastic about any of the Lakers young guys like Randle, Russell, or Clarkson, which explains at least one reason why the Pacers haven’t accepted the 27, 28 picks plus Randle or Clarkson for George at this point.

The Pacers believe they can get a better deal than what the Lakers are currently offering. Woj says there is a lot of action and a lot of teams trying to get involved in talks with the Pacers.

Pritchard has done a good job of building up a market from Sunday to now when other executives were telling Woj that the Pacers would only be able to get a mid-to-late first rounder and a decent expiring contract. “They’re going to get more than that,” said Wojnarowski.

Woj speculates that some teams think they’ll be able to flip him at the deadline after acquiring him and that many mid-to-large market teams will be interested.

Woj states that the Pacers aren’t looking to “do right” by George or do any favors for the Lakers, but they are going to take the best possible deal available for them.


In non-Paul George news, Lance Stephenson announced that he will be wearing his number 1 once again next season.

Nate Taylor reports that a trade isn’t imminent currently, but that the Pacers expect the offers to improve tomorrow on the day of the draft.

One of Taylor’s sources said that George’s value will only decline if the Pacers don’t find a deal during draft night. He says the Pacers, however, do not feel rushed to make a deal and could wait until training camp. Among the teams that Kevin Pritchard is talking to include the Cavaliers, the Rockets, and the Lakers according to Taylor.

The Lakers offer of the 27th and 28th picks in the first round plus either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson would have to improve greatly to be acceptable for the Pacers according to Taylor.


If you missed anything from yesterday, here’s everything that went down.

Paul George Trade Rumors Day 3

This story will be updated throughout the day with the latest Paul George news, most recent at the top:


Click here for today’s updating rumors page.


Rumor mill will surely keep churning until the deal happens.


Lakers tried to get the two Kings top-10 picks for the 2nd pick so they could send one to the Pacers, but Kings said no. This lines up with the report from earlier today that 2nd pick could be in play if a third team got involved.


Pacers and Lakers at a standstill on the Randle or Clarkson and 27 and 28 for George. It still seems likely Pacers find a deal before the draft.


Stein is now reporting that Lakers are trying to get George for two late first rounders and either Clarkson or Randle.


There will be no DeAngelo Russell for the Pacers in any deal as the Lakers get rid of the Mozgov contract by shipping them both to the Nets for Lopez and 27th pick.


Jimmy Butler has told the Bulls that he wants to remain with the team and doesn’t want to go to Cleveland, which may help the Pacers convince the Cavs to further pursue George.


This whole time the Lakers have said they aren’t getting rid of number 2 pick or Ingram, so this is a pleasant surprise for the Pacers, though it is unclear how a third team would help the teams reach a deal at this point.

The Lakers could want an early first round pick to replace their lost number 2 pick. Reports earlier said they were trying to acquire one. The Pacers may want another young prospect and may not want any Lakers that they are willing to give up.

Here is one interesting fan suggestion that may work.


Schultz is saying that George will be moved soon, which differs from reports earlier today.


The Pacers and the Lakers are officially talking deals. No word on details yet. Stein confirms that the Pacers have also talked with the Cavaliers, Clippers, Wizards and Rockets so far.


The Pacers reportedly tried to get the Warriors and the Cavaliers in a bidding war with each other, telling each team that the other was interested.

This story also says that several league executives expect this saga to last a long period of time and potentially drag out into the season, because many teams won’t be willing to offer more than a good player and a second-round pick. Deals that Pritchard would not be willing to take.


Here’s some hypothetical deals the Pacers could try to pursue for George.


In other Pacers news, it seems that Lavoy Allen is expecting his team option to be declined by the Pacers.

If you missed anything from the past couple of days, you can find it here.

Paul George Trade Watch Day 2

Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers are still actively looking for a trade partner for Paul George after he told the team that he intends to leave next year and sign with the Lakers in free agency.

Here’s a rundown of all the rumors coming from yesterday:

And here’s everything from today to this point:

The Pacers are still discussing with the Cavaliers, but Cleveland is also looking for a way to get Jimmy Butler and their GM David Griffin just resigned after not getting an extension and having some disagreements with ownership about future of the franchise. While the Cavaliers are looking for a replacement, they are still talking to teams about potential trades involving Kevin Love, which would likely be the centerpiece going from the Cavs in any potential George deal, most likely with a 3rd team involved.

Even though George’s agent is telling teams that he’ll only be a rental and won’t commit to signing with anyone other than the Lakers, several teams have been confirmed to show interest. Other teams that have been confirmed by reports to be interested include the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets, the Portland Trailblazers and the Washington Wizards. With the Clippers and Wizards, it may have to involve sign and trades which wouldn’t happen until free agency. The Pacers are said to be wanting to find a trade before the draft on Thursday. Zach Lowe also speculates that the Mavericks could build an offer around the 9th pick, but he’s not reporting that they’re actually doing so at this point.


David Aldridge is reporting that the Pacers are looking for two first round picks and a starter for George, though that will be hard to come by with George’s agent making it clear that he intends to sign with the Lakers next season no matter where the Pacers trade him.


Other news from the Lowe Post: One team that made an offer at the deadline, but will not be pursuing George now is the Denver Nuggets. The Boston Celtics will not be offering the number 3 overall pick for George. Lowe did say they can put together a package of Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and Avery Bradley and still maintain enough space to sign Gordon Hayward if Danny Ainge is so inclined.

Lakers are expected to be more open to trading for George if things heat up for a contender in a potential deal, but reports are that they will not be willing to part with more than Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and the 28th pick in this year’s draft. This isn’t saying that they’ve offered this to the Pacers yet, but that it would be the ceiling for what the Pacers could receive from the Lakers. Randle and fellow Laker DeAngelo Russel share an agent with Paul George and many speculate that the agent is trying to keep all three players in Los Angeles.

The Vertical is reporting that the Lakers definitely won’t give up Brandon Ingram or the number two pick in the draft, but that the package above could be possible. He says Paul George would prefer to play out this year with the Pacers rather than play for another team next year before leaving for the Lakers.

In other news, the Pacers were reportedly going to be targeting Danilo Gallinari and Jrue Holiday before the George told them he was leaving. Scott Agness is reporting that many in the organization were surprised and that the plan was to get the team back to the Eastern Conference Finals with George leading the way.

Also, the Pacers are now considering starting Lance Stephenson at point guard next season for the rebuild, because of his work so far this offseason in losing 10+ pounds and being in great shape. This would signal the likely end of Jeff Teague’s brief tenure in Indiana as well if he still had interest in signing with the Pacers after the George announcement.


Rumor Rundown: Paul George situation, Pacers trade targets

Larry Bird has been busy working the phones as the trade deadline approaches. While no deals seem imminent, lots of rumors have spread about the Pacers and what they’re looking to do before the deadline.

First, it was reported that the Pacers have been shopping their first-round pick to see if they can get a rotation-level player to help the Pacers push farther into the playoffs, and players like Brook Lopez and Jahlil Okafor have been mentioned in the past couple days.

The Indy Star reported just last night that the Pacers were still looking to add a rotational player and that Paul George would not be traded, which lined up with countless other reporters saying that the Pacers were not interested in dealing George. Nate Taylor said that his sources all told him they were looking to build around George, Jeff Teague, and Myles Turner.

Today, the Woj bomb dropped.

The Pacers are assessing the trade market for Paul George. What? What?? This hasn’t been in line with anything we’ve heard from many reliable sources in the past few weeks where the answer has always been that the Pacers were not taking calls on George or looking to trade him. But when Woj and The Vertical reports something, it makes you question everything.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported that George met with Herb Simon, Pacers owner, during the All-Star break over dinner and reiterated his position that he wants to stay in Indiana, but only if they’re contending for a title. This is something George has said since August, so it should be no surprise. George wants to be bigger than Reggie Miller, but he also wants to do that by doing the thing Reggie could never do: win a title.

The Indy Star’s Taylor says that the dinner was “celebratory and not George delivering an ultimatum.”

Even so, this has seemed to lead Bird to test the waters on what they could get for Paul George, but the deal doesn’t seem to likely to happen at the deadline according to multiple news sources seen in the tweets below. Still, it’s a big step from “untouchable” to “gauging the market.”


Meanwhile, the Pacers are still looking for options to add a rotational piece to the team for this season. Amick reported the Pacers are showing interest in Okafor, Aaron Afflalo of the Kings and Ed Davis and Allen Crabbe of the Trailblazers. Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee also reported of the Pacers interest in Afflalo.

Both Afflalo and Crabbe could help with the lack of wing depth on the Pacers, but Crabbe just signed a mammoth contract last off-season that has him making $18.5 million per season and Afflalo is a less-appealing get from the Kings than Ben McLemore. McLemore has the rest of this season left on his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent next year, while Afflalo is much older and on a 2-year deal worth $25 million.

None of these players are likely to convince George that they’re ready to contend for a title this season, so the Pacers will be pressured this summer to further add to the team in order to be ready to contend as George approaches unrestricted free agency in 2018 when he opts out of his current contract.

If the Pacers don’t feel like they’ll be able to do enough during the off-season to get to the point where they are ready to contend by 2018, that may be when they start to look more seriously at trading George and rebuilding around Turner and Teague. Gauging the market now gives them some idea of what they’ll be able to get if that’s the road they choose down the line.

George did tell reporters after the Pacers first practice back from the All-Star break that he “would love to” finish his career in Indiana, he expects to be in a Pacers uniform after the deadline has passed tomorrow and that his sole focus right now is getting this team back on track for the rest of the season.

The Pacers will also have a lot of reasons for George to want to stay in he makes an All-NBA team either this year or next as he would qualify for the Designated Player Extension that would push a potential extension over $200 million. If he does not make the All-NBA team in the next two years, his max number would only be around $120 million. The DPE goes away if George is traded.




Rumor: Pacers targeting Jahlil Okafor

Another day, another Pacers trade rumor: Ramon Shelburne of ESPN reported this morning that the Pacers are targeting Jahlil Okafor of the Philadelphia 76ers. Yesterday, it was Brook Lopez being mentioned as a target of the Pacers.

Okafor has been the subject of trade rumors every so often basically since he was drafted by the 76ers thanks to their plethora of young centers in Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Okafor.

Okafor was taken third overall in last year’s draft and has plenty of offensive post skills. So far in his career, he seems like a player born into the wrong era. In 23 minutes per game this season, he’s averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.

This would continue the trend of Bird acquiring players that can score without much thought as to how they actually fit in with the roster.

Shelburne doesn’t give any details about what the Pacers would be offering in this deal, but a best guess would probably be something like Al Jefferson and a first-round pick for Okafor. This would not seem to fix any of the Pacers existing problems however as Okafor seems to be a poor-man’s Al Jefferson when it comes to statistics at this point in their careers.

The hypothetical deal I put out there (Al and a mid-to-late round first for Okafor) might not even be enough for the Sixers to want to pull the plug on their top draft pick from just one year ago anyway. A deal that already looks questionable at best in terms of fit gets worse if they have to give up more than that (unless more is Monta Ellis and his contract).

Jefferson is a more efficient scorer in the post and Okafor’s not any better than Big Al on defense. Okafor has plenty of time to grow as he’s only in his second season in the league, but the trade seems a little too familiar to the Pacers getting another former high pick from the Sixers at the deadline that they were ready to give up on: Evan Turner. We all know how that worked out.