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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Articles tagged: Indiana Pacers

Report: Pacers turned down Cavs’ trade proposal for Paul George, could revisit

Paul George

The Indiana Pacers have reportedly turned down at least one trade proposal from the Cleveland Cavaliers involving Paul George, but the two sides could revisit a deal down the road.

A report from ESPN over the weekend indicated that the Cavs and Pacers had discussions about a three-team trade with the Denver Nuggets that also involved Kevin Love. According to Sam Amico of FOX Sports, Indiana said no.

Now that the draft has come and gone, the Pacers don’t need to be in any rush to deal George. They have openly stated that they will still look to trade him, as the 27-year-old informed the team he is not going to sign an extension next summer. However, there’s no reason Indiana can’t take its time and shop around for the best deal.

At least one other team that — unlike the Cavs — has plenty of draft capital is interested in acquiring George, and that team reportedly believes George would agree to an extension. While it’s obvious George has no future in Indiana, the Pacers can still try their best to start a bidding war.

Pacers president: Paul George wanting to leave team is a ‘gut punch’

Paul George

The Indiana Pacers had to have known there was a legitimate chance Paul George wouldn’t sign an extension with the team, but that didn’t make the official word any easier to handle.

After the NBA Draft Thursday night, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard revealed that he has not spoken to George since before the 27-year-old informed the team he plans on leaving after next season. When Pritchard received the call from George’s agent, he says he was devastated.

“For me it was gut punch,” Pritchard said, via Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star. “It was a total gut punch because we had many conversations over the summer about players that we’d like to add, a little bit of a style we’d like to play. In my opinion, I was very inclusive with (George) and the message over the summer up until this weekend was, ‘Let’s build a winning team.’ When that came in that he wanted to look at another place, it was gut punch for us.”

Pritchard was obviously upset on a personal level, but he was also unhappy with the way information leaked revealing George intends to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer. That has made trading George far more difficult.

“Becoming public was a big issue,” Pritchard said. “The conversation with his agent was very challenging.”

Pritchard said he is still confident a trade will be completed before the season. In reality, the report about George wanting to play for the Lakers shouldn’t have affected much. Any team interested in trading for him is going to inquire about George signing an extension next offseason, and they would have likely learned of his intentions at that point.

George’s decision to move on from Indiana should not have surprised anyone, especially after the way he spoke about his teammates during the postseason. Pritchard simply thought he had more time to attempt to change the All-Star swingman’s mind.

Report: Pacers in no rush to complete Paul George trade

Paul George

The Indiana Pacers do not appear to be in any great rush to push Paul George out of town.

Sources told Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star that a George trade does not appear imminent prior to Thursday’s NBA Draft, and while the Pacers have offers on the table, they do not feel like they have to get a deal done by then.

Taylor lists the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Wizards as teams that have engaged the Pacers in trade talks, but none of their offers have satisfied Indiana general manager Kevin Pritchard enough to pull the trigger.

The Pacers believe offers may become better after the draft, and are willing to let the situation linger through the summer and even into training camp, if necessary.

The Lakers have been trying to get a deal done, but so far, the Pacers have been unmoved. It sounds likely to stay that way through Thursday and possibly beyond.

Pacers have reportedly discussed Paul George trade with Cavs

Paul George has reportedly informed the Indiana Pacers that he is not going to sign an extension with the team, and the trade talks surrounding the star forward are heating up as a result.

Yes, they even involve the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports that the Pacers have had early discussions with the Cavs about the possibility of a George trade. With George said to be leaning toward signing with the Los Angeles Lakers next summer, the expectation is that he would only be a rental for a team like Cleveland.

The Pacers reportedly have not reached out to the Lakers, which makes sense because L.A. is unlikely to give up much if they can just sign George in a year. Wojnarowski notes that Indiana is asking for “a substantial package of talent and draft picks for George,” but they seem unlikely to get that much unless George agrees to sign an extension with the trade partner.

If George does end up going to some team as a one-year rental, the Cavs make sense. Cleveland could create its own super-team with George, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, and the Cavs might even be able to get George to change his mind about signing with the Lakers if things go well.

George was recently asked if he plans to talk to LeBron this summer, and he gave very little away.

Report: Pacers trying to trade Paul George to teams other than Lakers

The Indiana Pacers are trying to trade Paul George in the wake of the superstar reportedly telling the team he will not sign an extension.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday that George wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, but that hasn’t stopped the Pacers from calling other teams about a potential trade.

George grew up in L.A., and there have been numerous reports indicating he is intent on signing with the Lakers next summer. Because of that, the Lakers really have no reason to offer much in a trade for the 27-year-old. They’d rather wait another season than give up anything of significant value.

Indiana’s best chance at trading George could be to a contending team that feels the worst case scenario would be renting George for a season. Ideally, that team would be able to take the next year to convince George to sign an extension. However, without an assurance from George that he won’t bolt for L.A. when he becomes a free agent, the return for the Pacers will likely be quite low.

If the Pacers believe there is no way they can convince George to stay, they might have to take whatever they can get for him this offseason. We know one team fans are going to be thinking of that would make for an exciting landing spot.

Report: Larry Bird quitting as Pacers president

Larry Bird is stepping aside as president of basketball operation for the Indiana Pacers, according to a report.

Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported Friday that Bird, who has served in the position for all but one season sine 2003, will step down and move to a consultant role, with general manager Kevin Pritchard taking up the position.

Bird retired after the 2011-12 season citing health concerns, but returned to the post after just one season away. The 60-year-old will no longer have to oversee the difficult decisions, particularly the one surrounding this star player, that are going to come over the next year or two.

Jeff Teague says he wants to stay with Pacers

Indiana Pacers point guard Jeff Teague is set to become an unrestricted free agent, but he has voiced his desire to stay with his hometown team.

The Indianapolis native said after Sunday’s season-ending loss to Cleveland that he’d prefer to stay with the Pacers.

“I love Indiana,” Teague said, via Lang Whitaker of “You all know me, born and raised, tattoos on my arm. I’ve wanted to play for the Pacers my whole life. It’s a great opportunity for me and I love to be here.”

Teague played in all 82 games for the Pacers during the regular season, averaging a productive 15.3 points and 7.8 assists per game. He turns 29 in June, so logically, he still has some good years left in him, but he’ll have options outside of Indiana on the open market.

Nate McMillan threatens ‘major changes’ if Pacers are swept

Matt Barnes Nate McMillan

Things are bad for the Indiana Pacers right now, and coach Nate McMillan warned that it could get worse if the team is swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

McMillan, seemingly wanting his team to play with pride after blowing a 25-point halftime lead in Game 3, warned of big changes if his team failed to respond after the devastating loss.

McMillan is in his first year as Pacers head coach, so he would stand a decent chance of surviving any clear-out. The real issue may be with their superstar forward Paul George, who may have eyes elsewhere and could ultimately have to make a decision on his future this summer. The Pacers fading like they have won’t make him feel any better about the team’s future.

Jeff Teague: Pacers ‘playing for pride’ after meltdown against Cavs

The Indiana Pacers blew Game 3 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in historic fashion Thursday night — literally.

Despite heading into the locker room at halftime with a 25-point lead, the Pacers found a way to lose. No team in NBA playoff history had ever blown that big of a halftime lead. Because of the meltdown, Indiana is on the verge of being swept. Starting point guard Jeff Teague insists he is not going to let that happen.

“It sucks. We had them. That was our game and we lost it,” Teague told reporters. “We’re playing for pride now. We’re all competitors in here. We all believe in one another. We ain’t getting swept. We’re gonna move on and come out ready to play.”

In other words, the Pacers are going to try to salvage a win because they know they have no shot.

LeBron James led the way for the Cavs (what else is new?) with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. He got stronger as the game went on, and both Teague and Paul George realized their team allowed too many open looks in the second half.

“Here we are up (25) to start the second half and a chance to put our foot on their throat and we came out relaxed,” George said, via Nate Taylor of the Indy Star. “We didn’t pressure up on the ball and make anything tough. I thought they, again, had stretches where they were just walking into 3-pointers. You can’t do that.”

George finished with 36 points, but 21 of them came in the second quarter alone.

The Pacers never had a chance to win a series against the Cavs, who should really be the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. No matter how much LeBron praises George on social media, the talent gap between the two players and their respective supporting casts is just too significant to overcome. It’d be a surprise if Indiana extended the series.

Pacers owner says team never considered dealing Paul George

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was the subject of numerous trade rumors leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline, but according to owner Herb Simon, no deal was ever close.

Simon did confirm to Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star that there was interest in George, but the offers that came in weren’t even given much consideration.

“Basically, we were offered a lot of things,” Simon said. “We didn’t even think of taking any of them. (President) Larry (Bird) will give you a better feel for it, but the answer is you can’t stop people from making offers. But it wasn’t any question of accepting any of them.”

Simon had nothing but praise for George, will will be in the final year of his contract next season.

“This guy has taken over the team and pulled us up,” Simon said of his star forward. “I think very highly of him. I think he was incredibly personable at our breakfast in New Orleans during the All-Star weekend. He was very open. He wants to be a champion. He wants a winning team and it’s our job to get him one. He’s got that desire to be a special player, which he is, and to have a special team. We’re all on the same wavelength. It’s just a matter of we both have to produce. He has to produce and we have to give him the players to produce with.”

By all accounts, the Pacers were never serious about moving George. We’ll see what the summer holds as far as contract talks go and if that impacts Indiana’s thinking going forward.