Storyline: Paul George Extension

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The NBA announced on Thursday that the Indiana Pacers small forward did not make any of the All-NBA teams that are voted on by media members, thereby eliminating the possibility that he could be given a five-year, $207 million supermax extension this summer that could have kept him from skipping town. Except for one thing: George, who could have done that deal anytime between July 6 to the start of the regular season if he had qualified, wasn’t likely going to sign that deal right away anyways.

By all accounts, Bird’s decision to step aside has no impact on how George sees the Pacers situation. He has the utmost respect for Larry Legend, who was known to be looking to spend more time with his wife and family and will now serve as a consultant for the organization. But he knows that Pritchard is a widely respected front office talent too, having worked wonders as the lead basketball executive with the Portland Trailblazers before joining Bird in July of 2011.
1 year ago via ESPN

Asked about the estimated $219 million contract extension that Pacers president Larry Bird is poised to offer him in July, George told Marc Stein on ESPN Radio’s Meet The All-Stars: “As I told Larry, I always want to play on a winning team. I always want to be part of a team that has a chance to win it [all]. That’s important. Say what you want; I want to compete for something. It’s frustrating just playing the game for stats or for numbers or to showcase yourself. Man, I want a chance to play for a chance to win a championship. I wanted to be the first and want to be the first to be able to bring a championship to Indiana. So that’s still on my mind … and something I definitely want to achieve in Indiana.”

Teague is eligible to have his contract re-negotiated, much like the Oklahoma City Thunder did with Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets did with James Harden. The issue there is that Paul George also becomes re-structure eligible on September 25. The Pacers are sitting on about $6 million in cap space – enough to get George to the current NBA max, but not enough to also sign Teague to a new deal. Unless the Pacers opt to dump a contract and create more room, re-structuring Teague’s deal does not seem to be in the cards, which means a stroll through unrestricted free agency for the point guard and a ton of risk for Indiana.
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February 21, 2018 | 9:00 am EST Update
Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk missed a portion of Tuesday’s practice, while being examined following a car accident in Arkansas over All-Star break. Monk suffered from upper-body soreness when he arrived for Tuesday’s late-afternoon practice, so a team doctor checked him out. Monk returned to practice at Spectrum Center in time to put up some jump shots after most of the other players left the practice court. “They just had to make sure he was OK,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “He wasn’t able to practice today, but he says he feels better. He’s just stiff. So, we’ll just see tomorrow how he feels and where he is at.”
Asked if he anticipates Steve Clifford, who has a season remaining on his contract, being the coach here next season, Polk responded, “I would today.” Like each of Clifford’s previous four seasons, he and his staff will be evaluated in the spring. “Once we get a new general manager on board, we’ll talk about the coaching staff,” Polk said. “Steve has brought a lot of strong organization” to the franchise, Polk said, adding Clifford’s health crisis (a six-week leave to address severe headaches) concerned everyone in management.
February 21, 2018 | 5:07 am EST Update
“He’s not [coming back to Miami]. But the fact when ESPN polled 48 players about what they thought might happen with LeBron that they even mentioned the Heat shows that, at worst, the Heat remain relevant in players’ consciousness,” Winderman wrote. “Basically, the NBA players polled still consider the Heat a desirable landing spot. And that is a good thing. But I cannot fathom, as you pointed out, the Heat having enough on their roster to attract such a level of free agent. There was a time when I thought Hassan Whiteside could have been such a lure, but with his role minimized, I don’t see that as the case anymore.”
Storyline: LeBron James Free Agency