Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

Cavaliers trade Rakeem Christmas to Pacers

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have acquired forward Rakeem Christmas from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the 2019 second-round Lakers draft pick that the Pacers acquired in the recent trade for Roy Hibbert.

Christmas, 6-9, 250, was a second-round pick in June’s NBA Draft. He was selected 36th overall by Minnesota and was traded later draft night to the Cavaliers. He played collegiately at Syracuse where in his senior season he averaged 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. In his four-year career with the Orangemen, he played 142 games.

“We really liked Rakeem when he came in for pre-draft workouts,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He is a solid player who was a contributor all four years at Syracuse and we look forward to having him on our team.”

Pacers re-sign Rodney Stuckey

Pacers re-sign Rodney Stuckey

The Indiana Pacers have re-signed veteran free agent guard Rodney Stuckey to a contract.

“I felt all along it was important to re-sign Rodney,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He proved to us last year how much he could help. He’s a pro and a good teammate. We’re really happy to have him back. He added a lot to our team, on and off the court.”

Stuckey, a 6-5, 205-pound guard played the 2014-15 NBA season with the Pacers and averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 71 games. Prior to that he played seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons. He was a No. 1 pick of the Pistons (15th overall) in the 2007 NBA Draft after playing collegiately at Eastern Washington. While with the Pistons, Stuckey had a career average of 13.4 points per game with a career high 16.6 average in 2009-10. He made the NBA’s All-Rookie second team after the 2007-08 season.

Pacers sign Jordan Hill

Pacers sign Jordan Hill

The Indiana Pacers have signed free agent Jordan Hill to a contract.

“We’re happy to have Jordan as part of our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He brings size and energy to our front court and we look forward to see how he plays an up-tempo game. We know he can rebound and score points for us and we look forward to having him.”

Hill, a 6-10, 235-pound forward/center out of the University of Arizona is a six-year veteran in the NBA. He was drafted by the New York Knicks with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft; and was traded to the Houston Rockets in February 2010. He was acquired by the L.A. Lakers in June 2012 and spent three seasons with the Lakers. He has career averages of 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Last season with the Lakers, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 12.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 26.8 minutes per game. He also recorded a career-best 22 double-doubles last season, matching the number of double-doubles he had in his first five NBA seasons (259 games) combined.

Pacers sign scoring guard Monta Ellis

Pacers sign Monta Ellis

The Indiana Pacers have officially added a mountain of backcourt scoring.

The team announced Tuesday they have signed veteran free agent Monta Ellis to a contract.

According to the Associated Press, it is a four-year, $44 million deal, with a player option for the final year.

“He’ll be a great addition to our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “And he fits our needs for how we want to play. We’re excited to have him. He adds another veteran in our lineup and we think he’ll be a great fit, complementing George Hill in the back court.”

Ellis, named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2006-07 season, is a 10-year NBA veteran, having played for the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and most recently, the Dallas Mavericks. The 6-3, 185-pound guard attended Lanier High School in Mississippi and was drafted by Golden State in the Second Round of the 2005 Draft with the 40th overall pick. He has career averages of 19.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 678 games.

“We’re thrilled to have Monta Ellis with the Pacers,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “He’s proven to be one of the league’s most prolific scorers year in and year out and his game fits perfectly with the style we’re going to implement going forward.”

Pacers sign rookie Myles Turner

Pacers sign rookie Myles Turner

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have signed first-round draft pick Myles Turner to a contract. Turner was the 11th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

All first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to come to the league right away. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

Turner, a 6-11, 240-pound forward/center, played collegiately at Texas, averaging 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots per game.

The 2015 Big 12 Freshman of the Year recently played for the Pacers’ summer league team in Orlando where in three games he was the Pacers’ second-leading scorer at 18.7 ppg. Along with teammate Joe Young, he was named to NBA TV’s All-Tournament Team.

Timberwolves trade Chase Budinger to Pacers

chase budinger

The Indiana Pacers announced Sunday they have acquired forward Chase Budinger from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for forward Damjan Rudez.

Budinger, 6-7, 218, has six seasons of NBA experience. He was originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (44th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft. He was traded on draft night to Houston where he played three seasons before being traded to Minnesota in 2012. He has averaged 8.5 points per game in his NBA career.

“We’re very glad to have Chase,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He’s a guy we think will fit in our rotation. He can shoot and drive to the basket, which works with how we want to play. Damjan was a special guy. He was great to have as part of our team. He will be missed by all.”

Rudez, 29, played one season with the Pacers averaging 4.8 points on 45.2% shooting, including a 40.6% mark from the three-point line. The 6-10 Croatia native played in 68 contests, registering 15.4 minutes per game. The Pacers signed Rudez as a free agent on July 11, 2014. Prior to coming to the NBA, Rudez played parts of eight seasons internationally in Spain, Croatia and Slovenia.

Pacers trade Roy Hibbert to Lakers

Pacers trade Roy Hibbert to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers yesterday acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. In exchange the Pacers will receive a future second round pick.

In other words, the Pacers basically said, “here, take Hibbert.” 

“We’re happy to add a veteran big man to the roster,” said Kupchak. “Roy is a proven All-Star center that will help improve our front line. In addition he is a consummate professional and we look forward to having him on the team.”

Hibbert is very effective on defense. Offensively, he is limited.

“I’d like to thank Roy for all his contributions during his time in Indiana,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He was a two-time NBA All-Star, and we appreciate everything he did for our franchise both on and off the court.”

A seven-year NBA veteran and two-time All-Star (2012 and 2014), Hibbert appeared in 76 games (all starts) with the Pacers last season, averaging 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 25.3 minutes.

Originally selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Queens, New York native was acquired by the Pacers shortly before his rookie campaign and has appeared in 533 career games (492 starts) with Indiana, averaging 11.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 25.9 minutes. In 2014, Hibbert was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team after he finished the season ranked fourth in the NBA with 182 blocks (2.25 per game). The 7’2” center out of Georgetown has appeared and started in 54 postseason games averaging 12.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots in 31.6 minutes.

Pacers will keep Rodney Stuckey

Here’s the Indianapolis Star with an update on guard Rodney Stuckey:

Pacers will keep Rodney Stuckey

The Indiana Pacers continued shaping their roster on Sunday by working a deal with in-house free agent Rodney Stuckey.

The team and Stuckey have agreed on a three-year deal worth $21 million with a player option the third year, according to his agent.

Stuckey, 29, had a career year in his first season with the Pacers. Though Stuckey started 36 games, he found his niche as the Pacers’ high-scoring sixth man in averaging 12.6 points on 44 percent from the field, the highest shooting mark of his eight seasons.

Pacers, Monta Ellis agree to deal

Pacers, Monta Ellis agree to deal

The Indiana Pacers are about to add a lot of scoring to their backcourt. Will it be efficient scoring? We’ll see. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Pacers, Monta Ellis agree to deal

Free agent guard Monta Ellis and the Indiana Pacers have agreed to a four-year deal worth $44 million on Thursday, a league source confirmed.

The deal also gives Ellis, 29, a player option in the fourth year, the source confirmed. Chris Broussard of ESPN was first to report the agreement. The Pacers reportedly beat out several other teams interested in Ellis, who has averaged 19.3 points and 4.8 assists over his 10-year career…

On Wednesday, Ellis and his wife arrived in Indianapolis and later in the night, met with Pacers executives Larry Bird, Kevin Pritchard and head coach Frank Vogel.

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday that All-Star guard Paul George would be available to play Sunday when the Pacers host the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (6:00 p.m.).

George has missed the entire season after breaking his right leg during an intra-squad exhibition game at Las Vegas last August while practicing with Team USA as it prepared for the World Cup of basketball competition.

“The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process,” said George, a two-time NBA All-Star and the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2012-13. “I thank everyone, my family, friends, doctors, our training staff, coaches, the entire Pacers’ family for their support and encouragement. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m aware I’m still in a rehab stage and will continue to work to get back to full strength.”

“We’re happy to have Paul back in uniform, and this is just another step in his rehabilitation from the injury,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He has worked hard to get to this point and still has work to do, but it’s a positive step toward what we hope will be a full recovery at some point. His minutes will be limited in games he plays as we evaluate his progress moving forward.”

Paul George may return soon for Pacers

Paul George may return soon for Pacers

The 30-38 Indiana Pacers could receive a big boost in the very near future. Here’s reporting:

Paul George may return soon for Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are targeting the next week for Paul George’s season debut, multiple sources told

The team was considering bringing back George as early as Saturday’s home game against the Nets, but after the Pacers fell to the Cavs 95-92 on Friday night, coach Frank Vogel said George would not face Brooklyn.

A Pacers official said the team plans to update George’s status Monday.

The Pacers repeatedly have refrained from publicly putting a timetable on George as he’s progressed in his long recovery from a broken leg suffered in a Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in August.

Road to playoffs about to get tougher for Pacers

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on the Pacers, who have played excellent basketball for a long stretch of time and have their eye on the postseason:

The Indiana Hoosiers aren’t hearing Brad Stevens’ footsteps. The Indiana Pacers are.

It is not only Stevens’ Boston Celtics creeping up on the Pacers, though. Indiana, Boston and Miami are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference at 30-36. Charlotte, which was to play the Los Angeles Clippers late Tuesday night, was a half-game behind at 29-36.

No more than two of those four — Indiana, Miami, Boston, Charlotte — will make the NBA playoffs.

The once-moderate schedule confronting the Pacers? That’s over…

The combined winning percentage of the Pacers’ remaining opponents is .512. Of the six teams with a realistic shot at the No. 7 and 8 playoff spots, only the Brooklyn Nets (.523) have it tougher. But Brooklyn, which visits the Pacers on Saturday, has 11 home games out of 17 remaining; the Pacers have seven at home, nine on the road.

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on C.J. Miles, who has been making music for a while now — but not promoting it too heavily:

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

He grew up singing in the church choir. Playing piano in middle school. Writing music as a teen, songs few people ever heard.

Now, Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Miles can be heard. He has ventured beyond writing to recording and releasing his own hip hop music – quietly.

Most fans who watch him on the court have no idea Miles is an undercover musician. That’s OK with him.

“I have no interest in being a rapper (as a career). I just like to do music. That’s why I don’t pub it or anything,” he said. “If people want to listen to it, they can listen to it. If they don’t, I’m still going to do it. It doesn’t really matter.”

Miles views music as his outlet, much like other guys play video games to relax. During the NBA season, while on the airplane or the bus, it’s not unusual to find Miles writing music.

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

The Pacers deserve more mentions from us and everybody else as well. Written off before the season even started, they’ve played excellent basketball for a while now. Here’s the Indianapolis Star with some insight:

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

Who knew an Indiana Pacer other than Paul George could key such a productive second half of the season?

That has become the case with George Hill, whose strong return from injury has improved the starting lineup as well as the unit that comes off the bench.

With Hill averaging 14.5 points over the past 11 games, the Pacers are 9-2 and in playoff contention entering Friday’s home game against Chicago because the entire team is clicking.

Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Watson have combined for 57 starts this season, but as a recent tandem of reserves they’re giving opponents fits.

Stuckey has averaged a team-high 15.6 points since Hill went back to starting Feb. 4. Included in that surge are seven games of 15 or more points and back-to-back 30-point efforts. Stuckey’s totals have been fueled by 51 percent shooting (52.2 percent on 3-pointers) and 3.6 assists.

Frank Vogel

The Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Scott Brooks today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in February.

Vogel led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference’s best record in February at 7-2 (.778). He became the franchise’s all-time NBA coaching wins leader thanks to the Pacers’ second win of the month over the Cleveland Cavaliers, a 93-86 victory on Feb. 27. Indiana also topped the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors. The Pacers shot 47.2 percent from the field to lead the NBA in February, and also held opponents under 100 points in six-of-nine contests.

scott brooks

Brooks guided the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference in February at 9-3 (.750). The Thunder recorded a seven-game winning streak from Feb. 8-24, winning by an average of 15.6 points during that span. On the month, Oklahoma City’s 111.8 ppg led the league, while its 46.8 field goal percentage placed third. The Thunder went from one game under .500 to five games over thanks to its February performance.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Cleveland’s David Blatt, Houston’s Kevin McHale, Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Milwaukee’s Jason Kidd, and Portland’s Terry Stotts.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star helping to add clarity to the health status of the Pacers’ Paul George, who is injured and has not played a game this regular season:

Will Paul George be playing for Pacers by mid March?

While George made a business trip to New York City to endorse his line of hats, he also created a fuss with comments about making a full comeback by mid-March.

“March 1 isn’t when I wanted to play my first game, but when I wanted to be full-out practicing, doing up-and-down full court without any restrictions or limitations,” George said in a Friday interview with Yahoo Sports. “From there on, it’s seeing how far I can progress to where I play my first game. My hope is it’s an opponent where I feel comfortable coming back to where there isn’t too much pressure to perform, where I can ease my way back in. But I want to say mid-March, I could probably come back around that time.”

Later that night, the team released a statement to reel back these comments. While the statement repeated that George was “hopeful” and “optimistic” with that timeline of a return, the team also emphasized that the decision rests with the Pacers’ medical staff.

Jeff Teague reps the Hawks, but also the city of Indianapolis

Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague is putting up 17.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game for the 43-11 squad. He’s been named to the 2015 East NBA All-Star team as a reserve. So of course he reps the Hawks. But he’s also an important basketball figure for his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Jeff Teague reps the Hawks, but also the city of Indianapolis

It’s All-Star Weekend, and while the Pacers don’t have any representatives at this year’s game, there’s one participant that should be of particular interest for Indianapolis basketball fans.

Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, a Pike grad, was selected to his first All-Star Game after leading the Hawks to the East’s best record, highlighted by a 19-game win streak.

So why should you care about Teague’s selection?

Well, because he’s the first Indianapolis-bred All-Star since George McGinnis in 1979.

Yup, that’s right, it’s been 36 long years since a player from the largest city in a state synonymous with basketball has been an All-Star.

That’s not to say there haven’t been good basketball players to come from Indy during that time. Both Mike Conley (Lawrence North) and Gordon Hayward (Brownsburg) are playing at an All-Star level this season but found cracking the Western Conference roster a task too tall.

Pacers coach Vogel racking up techs

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on the Pacers, whose head coach is making sure his voice gets heard, at least when the refs are around:

Pacers coach Vogel racking up techs

The Indiana Pacers are in a fight for one of the last playoff spots, and coach Frank Vogel is in a race that he’d rather not win.

Vogel recently moved ahead of his peers to become the No. 1 leader in technical fouls. On Monday, Vogel got ticked off then was T’d up – his ninth technical foul happening in a tightly contested fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs. All technical fouls award the opposing team a free throw, which San Antonio’s Danny Green made. The Pacers eventually lost 95-93.

By Wednesday afternoon, before his team faced the New Orleans Pelicans, Vogel hesitantly addressed his rising total of techs. The nine Ts have also come with a hefty price tag of $22,000 in fines this season.

Pacers assign Shayne Whittington to D-League

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that 6-11 rookie center Shayne Whittington has been assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Whittington has played in 13 games for the Pacers this season with averages of 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

Whittington was undrafted out of Western Michigan and signed as a free agent, July 2, 2014.

With Paul George out for the season, Lance Stephenson gone to Charlotte, and various injuries and general struggles, it’s a challenging year for the Pacers, who have a 16-31 record.

Pacers pick up Solomon Hill contract option

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have picked up the 2015-16 option on forward Solomon Hill’s contract.

Hill, entering his second season with the Pacers, averaged 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season. He’s a 6-7, 225-pound small forward, born in Los Angeles, attended Arizona, and was drafted 23rd overall by the Pacers.

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