Future Value Key As George, Pacers Hammer Out Contract Extension

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HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Paul George had his coming-out party in the 2013 playoffs, out-playing Carmelo Anthony in the Eastern Conference semifinals and then going toe-to-toe with LeBron James for seven games in the conference finals.

The Indiana Pacers already knew George’s value. His ability to defend the league’s best players one-on-one was maybe the most important part of their No. 1 ranked defense. So it’s no surprise that they’re working on a long-term extension that will keep him in Indiana for the next several years. George told Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star on Wednesday that he’ll have his extension by the start of the season:

Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George said today the team’s fans don’t need to worry about him going anywhere.

Indianapolis is his professional home and he plans to be here for a long time.

“(A long-term contract) is going to get done,” George told The Indianapolis Star. “There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re (George and Pacers management) on the same page.”

George, who grew up in Southern California and still lives there during the offseason, was asked in July about the possibility that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant would personally recruit him to play for the Lakers.

“Of course it would be tough (to say no to Kobe),” George told ESPN Radio. “You’re talking about playing (at) home.”

The comments generated a mild firestorm but may have been much adieu about nothing.

“No,” George said when asked if there was any chance he would leave the Pacers. “Honestly, I love it here. I want to be here. It’s a great place. There are no distractions. I can stay focused. It’s all about basketball here. I can stay focused and do my job.”

This should be a no-brainer for the Pacers. They struck gold in drafting George 10th in the 2010 Draft and he really took a big step toward stardom last season in making his first All-Star Game. But there is a element of future value in any contract extension, because George isn’t yet the player he can be.

Offensively, George took a step forward last season, carrying a bigger load with Danny Granger out for most of the season. But George still needs more polish on offense.

George is a good 3-point shooter, but was below average from other spots on the floor. He’s capable of ridiculous dunks like this, but still is a far cry from finishing consistently like James (who shot an amazing 76.0 percent in the restricted area last season) or even teammate Lance Stephenson (67.9 percent).

Field goal percentage, 2012-13

Player/League Rest. Area Other paint Mid-range Corner 3 Above-the-break 3
Paul George 58.8% 30.6% 36.3% 41.8% 34.7%
League avg. 59.4% 38.9% 39.3% 38.9% 35.1%

Turnovers are another issue with George. Indiana ranked 29th in turnover ratio last season and George had 71 more turnovers than anyone else on the squad. Of 82 guards and wings that had a usage rate of 20 percent or higher, George had the 11th highest turnover rate, with only point guards and Manu Ginobili ahead of him on the list.

Still, when you combine his offense with his defense, only James and Kevin Durant stand above George on the small forward food chain. George is just 23 years old and there’s no reason why he can’t get more polished offensively as he continues to lock down the wing for Indiana.

It will be interesting to see if he gets a standard four-year (beyond this season) extension or gets the fifth year as Indiana’s “Designated Player.” Either way, the Pacers have will have a star on their roster for years to come.

30 Comments

  1. LeBron a Pacer? says:

    Imagine leBron with the Pacers….

    Get rid of Dranger and David West and their salary.

    LeBron, Paul George and Roy Hibbert big three combo!!!

    do not forget they now have Luis Scola and Chris Copeland

    PG:George Hill
    SG:Paul George
    SF:LeBron/ Copeland
    PF:Luis Scola / Copeland
    C:Hibbert

  2. sanjay says:

    paul would be great but I am damn impressed with kawhi leonard. An absolute superstar in the making!
    so spurs aint going anywhere, so are indianas. But none still have answers to what lebron will bring to the table this season. He will be bigger and better. if beasley goes to work and oden can give them 15 minutes, miami would be unstoppable and are guaranteed to 3 peat.

  3. George would be the best 6th man in the nba in south beach!

  4. We would love George to come to south beach to play aside wade at SG and play on the same team as the king!

  5. Pete Medina says:

    Pual George is a very loyal guy. If I were the Indiana Pacers I would give him the best deal possible. Last years playoffs was a huge step toward stardom. He proved to be a force in this league. Yes he can improve it sounds like it’ll be a long time for him to do so, yes it will, but with George’s motovation and mindset will get him there quicker. He recieved Most Improved Player last season, which is a great thing. It also means this guy will just keep doing the same. Going back to him saying no to moving anywere such as LA means he is super loyal. Yes it’s tough to reject Kobe asking him to play with his hometown, but he is enjoying playing with Indiana. He plans on staying too. Well I hope Paul decides to stay. Good luck Paul George, and Indiana.

  6. TTKIN says:

    He wouldnt have gone to the Lakers anyways. He wouldve been a restricted FA, and of course IND would match so automatically he would remain a Pacer. He’s smart for doing the extension. If he tried leaving and they matched, the fans and team wouldnt have thought too highly about their player trying to leave.

  7. DERICK ROSE says:

    OKIES that’s good Paul George IDOL

  8. beatle maniac says:

    paul george… superstar in the making.. hell yeah…

    i wonder when john ringo will start playing basketball as well……

  9. J says:

    next season he will be a star, the season after that he will be a superstar

  10. Joel Anthony says:

    You’re absolutely right johnny g… I believe that over the past 3 finals trips, along with 2 NBA championships, the Miami Heat have proven that having a legit center IS the key to success. Could not have done it without … um, whoever it was.

  11. johnny g says:

    George is top notch but remember having a ligit center is the key to sucsess. I would not be surprized Indiana going to the Finals and playing the team in the west with the other great center Houston, especially now that Dwight is getting trained the right way with Hakeem and his coach Kevin Mchale, onr of the all time great post players.

    • crazymaso says:

      Having on of the best defensive C’s in the league + rising offensive game is not a legit center?

    • Game Time says:

      Howard has been training with Hakeem for like two years! Nothing this year will be any different in his game except for mobility if his back is 100%.

    • kek says:

      Howard will never learn how to postup like hakeem, hakeem was way more skilled than howard is, And he could shoot jumpers, who da hell is gonna bite when howard pumpfakes? well if you do, welcome on shaqtin a fool.

  12. #BULLS says:

    He’s primed for a breakout season this year. Im talking about a super-star breakout year. But… We’ve been saying that for 3 years now… If he doesnt put up super-star numbers next year, then he might be seen as OVERPAYED. And peaople have been overrating him since the lockout season. He’s good, but he’s not that good. 1 of the best SF in the league. Not nearly as good as the media suggests. with that being said, I can see him having a nice year next year. But he’s gotta stop the disappearing acts. Some times you cant even tell he’s on the floor.

    • anonynous says:

      finally someone who speaks the truth!
      Paul averaged 17 ppg on 42% shooting…..he needs to average like 25ppg on at least 45% shooting to be called a “superstar”

      • alf C says:

        well hes still improving on offence but hes a top 3 small forword defence man only behind josh smith and Lebron James if you ask me

    • Game Time says:

      Completely agree. D-Wade who was banged up all year had better stats but he was written off as washed up. I think the NBA was just trying to build up a fan base for the Pacers and needed someone that stuck out the most.

  13. No body says:

    I think Pacer will be a scary opponents to any other teams. The squads that they have now will be good for a long time….

  14. Brian Scalabrine says:

    Paul George is going to be even better than I was in my prime. Go get some young fella!

  15. poot says:

    i sometimes read these articles and there is a guy who always posts nonsense with a name something like “do not click this you have been warned”

    just wanted to say that guy is a loser

  16. LakerMaterial says:

    LA is your land

  17. LAKERforLIFE says:

    more or less an extension like john wall got… and he deserves it too

  18. Akeem Asante says:

    George is definately a super star in the making. Not only is he talented, but he is CLUTCH. he will take and make the shots when it counts. The future of the NBA is in good hands with players like him, K. Irving, Steph’ Curry….

    On Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM, Hang Time Blog | NBA.com wrote:

    > ** > John Schuhmann posted: ” [nba-video > vid=channels/top_plays/2013/09/16/paul-george-season-top-10.nba] . HANG > TIME NEW JERSEY — Paul George had his coming-out party in the 2013 > playoffs, out-playing Carmelo Anthony in the Eastern Conference semifinals > and then goi”