Tyreke Evans is arguably the best scoring guard left on the free agent market, and he has drawn interest from several teams. The Indiana Pacers are among those teams, and it sounds like Evans has a decent chance of signing with them.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Evans has a meeting lined up with the Pacers and there is “interest on both sides to get a deal done.”
Evans has also been linked to top Western Conference teams like the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers, but those teams may not have enough money to sign the 28-year-old if he is looking for a sizable contract.
Evans averaged 19.4 points per game in 52 games with the Memphis Grizzlies last season. That mark was the best since his rookie year.
Wednesday’s game between the Pelicans and Pacers was unable to start at its scheduled time do to a malfunction in the arena.
The game at Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans had tipoff pushed back due to water on the floor that was the result of a leak in the roof.
As Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star points out, safety of the players is of the utmost concern in a situation like this. It goes without saying you can’t take the risk of serious injury because of a fall on a wet surface.
They definitely don’t want a situation similar to what happened with the Lakers a few years ago.
Nothing really makes sense in our world any more. Rookies are playing like ten-year pros, Arthur memes are taking over the planet, and the president is feuding with LaVar Ball. In trying times like these, we need some real and concrete answers about what’s fact and what’s fiction, so let’s start by asking the only question that matters about eight NBA teams that have outperformed expectations to this point of the season: contender or pretender?
The Verdict: PRETENDER
It’s difficult to believe going from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to Avery Bradley and getting slight improvements from the rest of the roster is a viable long-term winning strategy, and that’s probably because it isn’t. As good as Detroit has been, their first 16 games have felt incredibly fluky. Eight of their wins have come by single-digits, and they improved their three-point percentage by over five points from last season despite returning largely the same core. The NBA is fun when bigs like Andre Drummond are rampaging through the competition and dudes like Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith are running circles around everybody. But the Pistons’ own fun may be coming to an end soon.
The Verdict: CONTENDER
Joel Embiid is better than any horror film out there and is playing like a top-ten guy in the league right now. His brilliance has been largely overshadowing the 18-9-8 stat line that fellow ’90s baby Ben Simmons has been hoisting up. The world is also awakening to how good Robert Covington is at the sport of basketball. JJ Redick is looking like one of the more underrated signings of the summer. Indeed, the Sixers are putting up 109 points per game at the NBA’s fourth-fastest pace, and Markelle Fultz (you know, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft) is still hurt. It’s Process forever and I will not hear otherwise.
The Indiana Pacers have clarified that they do not intend to take any further action against either the NBA or the Los Angeles Lakers stemming from alleged tampering over Paul George.
In a statement from owner Herb Simon, the Pacers clarified that they were satisfied with the NBA’s investigation into the Lakers and are prepared to move on.
“Contrary to a published report, I would like to emphatically state that neither I nor the Indiana Pacers have ever considered any legal action toward the NBA or the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the recent decision and penalty concerning tampering charges,” Simon said in the statement. “We agree with the NBA’s findings and we want to put this issue behind us. Even though the Pacers were put in a tough position, we feel extremely fortunate to end up with two exceptional players in Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Their youth and talent, when coupled with our returning players and other players acquired over the summer, offer tremendous promise for our franchise and our fans.”
It’s a bit odd that Simon would once again take the opportunity to defend what the team got for George — a return that has been criticized by many — but he’s clearly eager to move on and get to work. The Lakers, it appears, will ultimately escape with nothing more severe than a fine.
The Indiana Pacers are embarking on a noble crusade for the little guy — at least in the eyes of their peers on the NBA totem pole.
According to a report by Bob Kravitz of WTHR on Monday, smaller-market teams are supporting the Pacers in their case against the Los Angeles Lakers for allegedly tampering with Paul George.
There’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”
It’s hard enough for these lesser teams to retain their superstar players or to at least to receive a fair return for them in a trade. If the Lakers did indeed have impermissible contact with George’s camp this offseason (something that the NBA has confirmed they are investigating), it sets a worrisome precedent for mega-market giants to further undermine the league’s working class. Thus, it’s no wonder the Pacers are getting a good amount of sympathy for their cause.
It was no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers took a long, hard look at Paul George this summer while he was still a member of the Indiana Pacers. It turns out that look may have been a bit too close.
Reports indicated Saturday that the Pacers are filing tampering charges against the Lakers relating to George.
There is that instance of Johnson reacting. There were also these tweets, although there’s no way they’re incriminating. There is also the strong possibility that some things happened behind the scenes that we aren’t aware of.
The Cleveland Cavaliers may be ruing the offseason of 2017 for a very long time.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, appearing on The Jump on Tuesday, said that the Cleveland Cavaliers were so close to closing a deal with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George that the player was about to be given the go-ahead to speak to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
“It was so close, in fact, that Indiana was about to give permission to Paul George to get on the phone with Dan Gilbert,” Wojnarowski said. “Indiana backed out of it and did the Oklahoma City deal.”
Amazingly, this is, according to reports, not the only deal for a star player that Cleveland almost had but didn’t get done. It doesn’t sound like there has been any lack of effort on Cleveland’s part to get LeBron James some help — but factors both within and beyond their control intervened.
The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics are both in cover their behinds mode regarding the Paul George trade.
The Pacers took a lot of heat for getting what many perceived to be a paltry return for George. The Celtics were criticized for not pulling the trigger on the deal and letting another team get him.
Shortly after George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, reports leaked out suggesting Boston made significant trade offers to Indiana for PG13 that were turned down.
At a press conference on Friday, Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard brushed that talk aside.
Both teams have been criticized for their actions, so it’s no surprise they’re each trying to defend themselves. We’ll probably never really know what went on in the trade talks, but we do know that George ended up in OKC in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Between the NBA Draft and free agency, the first month of the offseason is one of the most exciting times of year for basketball fans. Trades take place pre and post-draft, teams add new players via the draft, and then the wild free agency period begins on July 1.
Many teams have re-shaped their rosters. Some have lost talent, while others have made gains. Some moves have impacted organizations much more than others.
Here’s a look at 10 winners and losers from the NBA offseason so far.
1) Oklahoma City Thunder
Sam Presti strikes again. The Thunder have a rare situation where trading for Paul George, even purely as a rental, makes sense.
In 2017-18, Russell Westbrook will have some actual assistance from a second bonafide star in George, who can at least help Oklahoma City recover some of what they lost when Kevin Durant skipped town. Westbrook being the entire offense was fun, and led to some remarkable stat lines, but it’s not a long-term solution for winning.
What about the future? George will probably leave after the season, but the deal brings two other benefits aside from the obvious. First, Oklahoma City will have some cap flexibility even if he walks. Second, by making a deal like this, Presti and the Thunder have once again demonstrated to Westbrook that they are committed to building a talented group around him — which could help convince him to re-sign for the long haul when his number comes up next summer.
And after trading for George, Presti wasn’t done. He signed Patrick Patterson to a 3-year, $16.4 million deal to help make up for the loss of Taj Gibson. The Thunder are also bringing back defensive stalwart Andre Roberson on a completely reasonable three-year, $30 million contract.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves
Monta Ellis posted some of his worst numbers since his rookie season last year, and it sounds like the Indiana Pacers are willing to let the veteran guard explore better options this offseason.
Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that the Pacers and Ellis have begun discussing the possibility of a buyout.
Ellis is set to earn $11.2 million next season and has an $11.7 million player option for 2018-2019, so he has some leverage. There’s a decent chance the two sides will find some middle ground even with Ellis having only averaged 8.5 points and 3.2 assists per game this past year.
Ellis has played 13 NBA seasons and is still somehow only 31. He’s just two seasons removed from averaging 18.9 points per game with the Dallas Mavericks. Multiple teams would likely be willing to give him a shot if he can reach a buyout agreement with Indiana.