The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed veteran guard/forward Paul George to a multi-year contract extension. According to the Indianapolis Star, “George is eligible for a five-year contract that will pay him approximately $80 million to $90 million, according to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. If he is named to one of the league’s three All-NBA teams at the end of next season, he would be eligible for more than $90 million. If not, he could make almost $80 million.”
According to the Associated Press, “We’re all in this year,” Larry Bird said. They proved it Wednesday by officially singing George to a five-year max contract extension that guarantees him between $80 and $90 million and could be worth even more if George reaches an escalator clause. George’s deal comes after David West’s new three-year, $36 million contract, Bird’s offseason spending spree to improve the bench and last year’s expensive deals to keep center Roy Hibbert and point guard George Hill. The Pacers are almost certain to have their core nucleus together for several more years. And with the Pacers coming off back-to-back playoff runs in which they pushed Miami, the expectations are soaring.”
The 6-7, 225-pound George is considered one of the rising stars in the NBA. Last season, his third in the NBA, George averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He made his first All-Star appearance as a reserve for the East in the NBA All-Star Game, was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player while also being named to the All-NBA third team and the All-Defensive second team. George was the Pacers’ No. 1 draft pick (10th overall) in the 2010 draft.
“I want to thank the Pacers for believing in me when they drafted me,” said George. “To continue my career with the Pacers was a very easy decision. We have great ownership, a great front office, great fans and I’m blessed with great coaches and great teammates. I use great a lot because that is what this franchise is and I’m hopeful we can be part of great things in the future.”
“Paul represents not only what our team and franchise is about, but what a professional athlete should be,” said President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He strives every day to be the best he can be, as a player, as a teammate, as a person and as a representative of this franchise.”
Associated Press: “George showed up for the news conference in a nifty gray suit, dapper shoes, trendy eyeglasses and neatly trimmed hair. But he didn’t sound different from the blue-collar guy who has been impressing Pacers coaches and teammates since he was taken 10th in the 2010 draft.”