Paul George is one of the most talented players in the NBA and has worked his way up and earned the title of superstar. There are very few true superstars in the league, but his ability to play both ends of the court has made him a much more valuable player than most around the league.
According to a report from Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com in Indianapolis, George and the Indiana Pacers have opened a dialogue about a potential contract extension. He does mention that the two sides have yet to reach serious discussions, but the news is good for Indiana.
Last season with the Pacers, George ended up averaging 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. He shot 41.8 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 37.1 percent of his three-point attempts. George still has some work to do on the offensive end of the court, but he has a great work ethic and is motivated to prove that he should be an MVP candidate.
After seeing the way that Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason, there has been some concern among Pacers’ fans. They do not want to see the face of their franchise walk away to join a “super team” somewhere else.
George sounds like he has an interest in sticking with the Pacers long-term. Having extension talks this early in the process makes it fairly clear that he is, at the very least, interested in getting a new deal done. More than likely, the Pacers and George will not work something out ahead of the 2016-17 season.
At 26-years-old, George would have a lot of interest in him on the open free agency market. Plenty of teams would want to give him big bucks in order to make him the face of their franchise long-term.
It will be interesting to see what ends up happening over the next couple of seasons. George and the Pacers have had an impressive amount of success throughout his young career. He has led them to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances, and the future is even brighter with the offseason moves that Larry Bird has made.
Jeff Teague was acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team deal that sent George Hill to the Utah Jazz, as ESPN originally reported. Thaddeus Young was also acquired in a draft night deal with the Brooklyn Nets. Al Jefferson signed with the Pacers in free agency to a three-year, $30 million deal, and scoring point guard Aaron Brooks signed to a one-year deal with Indiana.
Nothing can hold the Pacers back from being one of the top teams in the NBA. They should contend with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference playoffs now that they have a legitimate supporting cast for George.
Bird and the Pacers’ front office are trying to build a contender around him, which should make George more comfortable signing long-term. He has to respect the franchise for giving him the best chance to compete for a title that they possibly can.
Indiana may not end up winning their first NBA championship in franchise history over the next couple of seasons, but they should have enough success to get George to commit long-term.
Expect to see George and the Pacers get a deal done at some point in the next year or two. He isn’t going to leave Indiana unless a major change of heart happens. George wants to bring a championship to the city of Indianapolis, and he has made that clear throughout his young career with the Pacers.
[Photo by R Brent Smith/AP Images]