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The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed Edmond Sumner, the 52nd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Sumner was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans and acquired in a draft night trade in exchange for cash considerations.

Sumner, a 6-6, 176-pound guard, played collegiately at Xavier where he had career averages of 11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

Pacers name Chad Buchanan new General Manager

Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard announced he has named Chad Buchanan as General Manager. Buchanan replaces Pritchard, who in May assumed his current role. Pritchard also announced that Vice President of Basketball Operations Peter Dinwiddie has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations.

The 44-year-old Buchanan joins the Pacers after spending the last three seasons as assistant general manager for the Charlotte Hornets. Prior to that, Buchanan was with the Portland Trail Blazers for 10 years, serving as a scout, acting General Manager in 2011-12 and director of college scouting.

“I know Chad from when I was at Portland and I thought back then he was extremely sharp and gifted when it comes to talent and what teams need to improve,” said Pritchard. “I’m very pleased we can add someone of his caliber and look forward to working with him. He is very well respected and will fit into the culture we have here.”

Buchanan attended Simpson College (Indianola, Iowa) and was an assistant coach there for five years (1997-2002). He then became an assistant coach/assistant director of player personnel for the ABA’s Kanas City Knights in 2002-03, and served as an assistant coach at Drake in 2003-04 before landing in Portland.

Cavs trying to trade for Paul George

Let the fun begin. The real fun, in the form of a top team trying to trade for a great player. Here’s ESPN.com reporting that the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to land Paul George:

Cavs trying to trade for Paul George

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to pursue a trade for Paul George and will be leading contenders for Carmelo Anthony’s services, should Anthony secure an offseason buyout from the New York Knicks, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the Cavaliers engaged in serious three-way trade discussions leading up to the NBA draft on a deal that would have brought them George from the Indiana Pacers and landed Kevin Love, George’s fellow Eastern Conference All-Star, with the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets were recruited into the talks to furnish the Pacers with the combination of promising young players and draft picks that they are seeking before consenting to surrender George, whose agent, Aaron Mintz, informed Indiana management just over a week ago that George has no intention of staying with the club beyond the expiration of his current contract in June 2018.

Reggie Bullock and Monta Ellis suspended by NBA

The NBA announced today that Monta Ellis of the Indiana Pacers and Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons have each been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.

Their suspensions will begin with the next NBA regular season game that they are eligible and physically able to play.

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Larry Bird is stepping down as President of Basketball Operations with current Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Kevin Pritchard assuming Bird’s position. Bird will remain with the team in an advisory role.

“I felt it was time to step away in a full-time capacity,” said Bird. “This has nothing to do with my health or our team. I’m 60 years old and I want to do other things away from basketball. I will do some scouting for the Pacers, NBA, college, international, do some appearances and stay in a capacity to advise senior basketball management. I love the Pacers, I grew up with the Pacers and admired them from a very young age. I want to thank the fans for their support throughout my career. I also want to thank (owner) Herb Simon for the many years of loyalty and for allowing me to stay with the team in a different role.”

“This is not a shock to me as Larry has always been up front about someday stepping down,” said Simon. “I thank him for all that he has done and am very pleased he is remaining with the Pacers in a different capacity.”

The 49-year-old Pritchard has been with the Pacers five years, first as Director of Player Personnel before becoming General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager. He previously had been General Manager for the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007-10 where he helped turn around a team that in 2008-09 posted the sixth-best record in franchise history (54-28) and made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

“I want to thank Herb, Larry and Donnie (Walsh) for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Pritchard. “As someone who grew up in Indiana (he was born in Bloomington), I’ve always felt the Pacers’ pride. The goal is always going to be the same as it has been through Donnie and Larry: to make this a world-class organization.”

“I have the utmost faith in Kevin taking over,” said Simon. “He has learned from a couple of great ones, Donnie and Larry, while with the Pacers. We all feel he will do a tremendous job.”

Added Bird, “I’m very happy Kevin is stepping in and glad another Hoosier is in line to take over this job. He has a lot of experience from the past five years as a GM and he’s ready to step into a leading role. With us, he has had his own ideas on the draft, players, and now he gets an opportunity to push his basketball abilities to the forefront. His role will be no different than mine was. He will make all final decisions on all basketball-related matters. There can only be one voice and it will be his.”

Pritchard played collegiately at Kansas and was part of the Jayhawks’ 1988 National Championship team. He played in the NBA with Golden State, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and Washington. After playing, he was the coach/general manager of the Kansas City Knights of the ABA, winning a championship in 2002. He then scouted for San Antonio, became Portland’s Director of Player Personnel in 2004 and in the 2004-05 season was the Blazers’ interim coach for 27 games. In 2006, he became Portland’s assistant general manager before becoming GM in 2007.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and LA Clippers guard Chris Paul today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

George averaged an NBA-high 32.8 points and added 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Pacers went 5-1 in April to clinch a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons. He scored at least 30 points in four of six games, including a season-high 43 points in a 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2. The 26-year-old forward shot 54.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range for the month. He also finished third in the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game. George and the Pacers will visit the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 15 for Game 1 of a first-round postseason series (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

Paul led the Clippers to a 5-0 month behind averages of 21.2 points, 9.8 assists (fourth in the NBA) and 5.0 rebounds, helping LA clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The 31-year-old guard shot 54.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three-point range and went 22-for-22 from the free throw line in April. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 98-87 road win against the San Antonio Spurs on April 8. The Clippers, who have made the playoffs a franchise-record six consecutive seasons since acquiring Paul, will host the Jazz in Game 1 on April 15 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Here is a recap of April for George and Paul:

Paul George, Indiana Pacers
April 4 vs. Toronto: Notched 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a 108-90 victory against the Raptors.
April 6 vs. Milwaukee: Finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in a 104-89 win over the Bucks.
April 12 vs. Atlanta: Made five three-pointers on his way to 32 points and added 11 rebounds in a 104-86 victory over the Hawks.

Chris Paul, LA Clippers
April 1 vs. L.A. Lakers: Recorded 29 points, 12 assists and four rebounds in a 115-104 win against the Lakers.
April 5 vs. Dallas: Registered 22 points, 11 assists and three rebounds in a 112-101 win over the Mavericks.
April 10 vs. Houston: Contributed 19 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals in a 125-96 victory against the Rockets.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

The Indiana Pacers’ Nate McMillan and the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

McMillan guided the Pacers to a 5-1 record during April, tied for the best mark in the Eastern Conference. Indiana closed the month and the regular season with five consecutive victories to secure the seventh playoff seed in the East. For the month, the Pacers ranked third in the NBA in scoring (115.5 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (50.1) and point differential (plus-11.7). Indiana’s only defeat was a 135-130 double-overtime loss to its first-round postseason opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 of the series is Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

Behind Rivers, the Clippers went 5-0 in April to finish as the NBA’s only undefeated team for the month and extend their regular-season-ending winning streak to seven games. LA outscored its opponents by a league-best 16.4 points per game and led the NBA in field goal percentage (51.5). On the final day of the regular season, the Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-95 to clinch the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers will host the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their first-round series on April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Denver’s Michael Malone, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Luke Walton, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Portland’s Terry Stotts, Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Utah’s Quin Snyder.

Paul George and Gerald Henderson fined by NBA

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and Philadelphia 76ers guard Gerald Henderson have each been fined $25,000, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

George has been fined for public criticism of the officiating following the Pacers’ 120-111 win over the 76ers on Monday, April 10 at Wells Fargo Center.

Henderson has been fined for his Flagrant Foul 2, for throwing an elbow to the head of George with 2:59 remaining in the fourth quarter of the same game.

To view the on-court incident, click on this link.

Lance Stephenson is back on the Pacers

Lance Stephenson is once again a member of the Indiana Pacers. The team signed him to a contract today.

Stephenson, a 6-5 guard/forward, was drafted by the Pacers in the Second Round of the 2010 NBA Draft as the 40th overall pick. He played four seasons with the Pacers and averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in the regular season. He played in 42 games in the playoffs with the Pacers, including twice in the Eastern Conference Finals, and in those 42 playoff games he averaged 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

According to the Indianapolis Star, “Stephenson, the tenacious, versatile and mercurial combo guard who once flourished in a blue and gold Indiana uniform, will make his stunning return to the Pacers later this week and be reunited with George. He signed a three-year, $12 million deal Thursday that includes a team option in the final year of the contract.”

“We’re very happy to have Lance back as part of our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “We always knew he wanted to come back here, and we feel now is the right time, not only for the rest of this season, but moving forward. We look forward to having a long relationship with him, because we know what he can bring to our franchise, both on and off the court.”

After the Pacers, Stephenson played for Charlotte, the L.A. Clippers, Memphis, New Orleans and most recently with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has career averages of 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Stephenson will join the team in Cleveland for Sunday’s game.

Pacers waive Rodney Stuckey

Pacers waive Rodney Stuckey

The Indiana Pacers have requested waivers on injured 6-5 guard Rodney Stuckey.

Stuckey appeared in 39 games off the bench for Indiana this season while averaging 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

In a recent injury report, the Pacers said Stuckey will be out for the next 4-6 weeks. The 2017 NBA playoffs begin in around 2.5 weeks.

In his three seasons with the Pacers, Stuckey recorded averages of 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over 168 appearances.

“We want to thank Rodney for his commitment to our franchise in his three years with the Pacers,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He was a positive influence not only to our team but also in the community. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

The Pacers’ roster now stands at 14 players.

Here are the latest Indiana Pacers injuries:

Rodney Stuckey has a left patellar tendon strain and is expected to miss four to six weeks. He sustained the injury in Sunday night’s victory over Philadelphia.

Al Jefferson will miss at least two weeks with a sprained left ankle. He will be reevaluated at that time. He sustained the injury in Sunday’s win over Philadelphia.

Glenn Robinson III remains out with a left calf strain and will be reevaluated late next week.

From the NBA down to the D-League, players with Indiana ties were flashing their skills all over New Orleans on Saturday during the NBA All-Star weekend.

But let’s start with the show-stealing Glenn Robinson III, the Gary native and Indiana Pacer who blew away his competition to win the 2017 All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.

Robinson beat Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns in the final round. Robinson clinched the win with a perfect 50 on the final dunk of the night — going over three people for a reverse dunk and nearly touching his head on the rim in the process…

Robinson started with a dunk where he leaped over Indiana teammate Paul George, grabbing the ball from the All-Star before his slam that merited 44 points…

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic were eliminated in the first round. Gordon finished second to Minnesota’s Zach LaVine in last year’s contest.

– Indianapolis Star

Pacers having rebounding problems

Here’s the Indianapolis Star with some insight on the Pacers, whose lack of size is probably hurting their ability to rebound the ball:

Roy Hibbert, David West, Andrew Bynum. None of those Indiana Pacers’ trees of yesteryear will come striding through the Bankers Life Fieldhouse doors anytime soon — at least not in a Pacers uniform.

But the truth is any one of them could help this team in one of their biggest areas of need: rebounding.

Entering Friday, the Pacers are 23rd in the league in total rebounding — averaging 42.3 per game — and have been out-worked on the glass in 10 of 12 games. That’s led to a differential of minus-4.7 per contest, the fourth lowest ratio in the league.

It should not come as much of a surprise to the Pacers or their fans that Indiana has struggled to pull down missed shots. With team President Larry Bird’s offseason emphasis on making this team a sleeker, faster unit, the roster was hit with an almost inevitable consequence.

Players got small. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the Pacers entered the season the third-shortest team in the league.

Pacers sign Ben Bentil

Pacers sign Ben Bentil

The Indiana Pacers have signed 6-9 free agent forward Ben Bentil to a contract.

Bentil, who played collegiately at Providence, was a second-round pick (51st overall) of the Boston Celtics in the 2016 NBA Draft.

The Pacers this season are built around guards Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis and Rodney Stuckey, forwards Paul George and Thaddeus Young, and centers Myles Turner and Al Jefferson. George is the big star of the group.

Pacers waive Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone

The Indiana Pacers on Sunday waived 6-9 forward Jeremy Evans and 6-6 guard Julyan Stone.

Evans appeared in two preseason games and did not score.

Stone played in five games, scoring one point while averaging two rebounds per game.

The Pacers’ roster now stands at 15.

Pacers exercise option on Myles Turner contract

The Indiana Pacers exercised their team option on center Myles Turner’s contract for the 2017-18 season.

This was an expected move. Turner is one of the team’s main young building blocks.

The 6-foot-11, 243-pound Turner averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game last season as a rookie.

pacers

The Pacers signed veteran free agent forward/center Kevin Seraphin and rookie guard Nick Zeisloft today.

The 26-year-old Seraphin, 6-10, 278, was a first-round pick (17th overall) of the Chicago Bulls in the 2010 NBA Draft. Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, France, Seraphin was traded to Washington in July, 2010, and played with the Wizards for five seasons before playing with the New York Knicks last season. He has career averages of 6.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Zeisloft, 6-4, 185, played last season at Indiana where he averaged 6.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Pacers sign Julyan Stone and Alex Poythress

The Pacers signed Julyan Stone and Alex Poythress today.

Stone is a 6-6 guard that is a three-year veteran of the NBA, spending time with both the Denver Nuggets and the Toronto Raptors. He has NBA career averages of 1.3 points and 1.1 assists per game. He also played in the D-League, where he averaged 4.7 points and 4.3 assists per game. He played collegiately at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Alex Poythress is a 6-8 forward from the University of Kentucky. Heplayed four seasons for the Wildcats and in his senior year he averaged 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. He also played for the Orlando Magic this past summer in Summer League.

Pacers sign Aaron Brooks

Pacers sign Aaron Brooks

The Pacers have signed veteran free agent point guard Aaron Brooks to a contract.

With Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis as the likely starters in the Pacers’ backcourt, and Rodney Stuckey usually getting big minutes off the bench, Brooks’ role will likely be minimal.

The 6-foot, 161-pound Brooks is an eight-year NBA veteran who has played with Houston, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver and Chicago. He was a first-round pick (26th overall) of the Rockets in 2007 after playing collegiately at Oregon. Over his NBA career, he has averaged 10.7 points and 3.2 assists with his best season in 2009-10 when he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists with Houston. In 2010, he was the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

“Aaron is a proven point guard in the NBA,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He can create and shoot the three. He’s another scorer for our second unit who plays at a high level at both ends of the court.”

Pacers sign Al Jefferson

Pacers sign Al Jefferson

The Indiana Pacers have signed veteran free agent center Al Jefferson to a multi-year contract.

Jefferson’s deal is reportedly a $30 million dollar contract over three years.

This will be an interesting fit, as the Pacers were looking to play more up-tempo basketball, while Jefferson is best when the offense gets slowed down and he’s able to operate in the post.

The 6-10, 289-pound Jefferson spent the last three seasons of his 12-year NBA career with Charlotte. Drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2004 (first round, 15th overall) out of Prentiss (Mississippi) High School, Jefferson was with Boston three seasons before being traded to Minnesota. He spent three years there before being traded to Utah, where he played for three seasons. He then signed as a free agent with Charlotte in 2013.

“We want to welcome Al to the Indiana Pacers,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “Al is a good, solid, veteran player. We know what he brings to our team, scoring, rebounding and he’s a handful down in the post. Not only do we think he’ll help us a lot on the court, we think he will be a good mentor for Myles Turner. He’s a proven player in this league and we are very confident he will help us in many ways.”

Jefferson has career averages of 16.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He averaged a career best of 23.1 in points in 2008-09 and a career best 11.1 rebounds in 2007-08. In 2014, he was a third team All-NBA selection.

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