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Sport In rare twist, Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once

07:06  13 july  2018
07:06  13 july  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Report: Paul George Opts Out of Contract, Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent

  Report: Paul George Opts Out of Contract, Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George has informed the team that he will opt out of his contract, becoming an unrestricted free agent, reports ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski.George had until June 29 to decide whether to opt in, which would pay him $20.7 million in 2018–19, the last season of a five–year, $91.6 million deal he signed when he was a member of the Indiana Pacers.

In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once . The Indianapolis Star•1 hour ago. GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 93, Pacers 88. Would Indiana Pacers ' center Myles Turner consider playing for his hometown Mavericks? SportsDay. Notebook: Pacers Create Cap Flexibility.

Luckily for the Indiana Pacers , the five seed in the NBA Playoffs is a good spot to be in. In rare twist , Pacers are free agency winners .

The Indiana Pacers' long, underwhelming free agency history didn't dampen fans' hopes of a busy summer. It also didn't deter this year's free agent crop from looking at the Pacers.

Being one of the few teams with salary cap space didn't hurt, but don't discount the appeal of playing for a winner — one with a young, likable core.

  • 1-on-1: Pritchard to Pacers free agent targets — Winning is fun, join the party
  • Doyel: Pacers to the NBA — Here we come!
  • Insider: Pacers shake up roster while keeping options open for 2019

After turning an unhappy star into a budding superstar and a blossoming big man, Kevin Pritchard's stunning 12-month run continued with what is being widely lauded as a home-run offseason for the Pacers' president.

Paul George: 'I want to play for the home team and put a Laker jersey on'

  Paul George: 'I want to play for the home team and put a Laker jersey on' In the second part of his ESPN series chronicling upcoming free agency, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George told fellow pending free agent Dwyane Wade that he “wants to win a championship.” Okay, so that doesn’t necessarily seem like must-watch television, right?That’s until George’s conversations with Wade took a turn to specifics.“In a way, it’s like, I want to come here, I want to play for the home team and put a Laker jersey on. That’s always gonna be something that I want to fulfill,” George said while hanging out with Wade in Southern California, via The Oklahoman.

Kyle O'Quinn embraces Pacers ' winning culture. In rare twist , Pacers are free agency winners .

In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once . The Indianapolis Star. GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 93, Pacers 88. Silver Screen and Roll. Fantasy Basketball : NBA Free Agency -- Part III. CBS Sports.

Pritchard is treating the offseason like a Kroger run. He has checked off needs of bench scoring (Tyreke Evans), 3-point shooting (Doug McDermott; Evans is also capable) a bruising backup big willing to rebound/defend (Kyle O'Quinn) and a future point guard (Aaron Holiday).

All while maintaining longterm flexibility.

Oh, and did we mention key pieces Thad Young and Cory Joseph decided to pick up their options, and out-of-nowhere fire-starter Bojan Bogdanovic and starting point guard Darren Collison are back, too.

LeBron's Map of the Stars tour has the East open for business for the first time since "OMG" was No. 1. So, excuse Pacers fans if they're a bit excited.

They're not alone.

Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine included the Pacers among his winners with the likes of the Lakers (LeBron), Thunder (kept Paul George) and Golden State (added Boogie Cousins). Not bad company to keep.

Paul George reportedly 'comfortable' in Oklahoma City

  Paul George reportedly 'comfortable' in Oklahoma City It has been a foregone conclusion for some time now that All-NBA performer Paul George would ultimately end up in Los Angeles with the Lakers once free agency starts this weekend. Dating back to his days with the Indiana Pacers, George has been eyeing a return to his hometown.As free agency iself nears, this is no longer a foregone conclusion. Reports surfaced earlier in the offseason that George might ultimately return to the Oklahoma City Thunder on a two-year contract with an opt out after Season 1.Now, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, this train of thought has taken on a whole new meaning recently.

CLOSE. Gregg Doyel and J. Michael discuss the Indiana Pacers ' wrenching Game 5 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. So the Pacers were robbed! In rare twist , Pacers are free agency winners .

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"While everyone else was losing their minds about LeBron heading west, PG not heading west, what’s going on with Kawhi Leonard and how a just basketball God would allow the Warriors to keep getting away with it!, Kevin Pritchard just sort of quietly and in a matter-of-fact fashion went about making last year’s most pleasantly surprising team better.

"After a rocky few seasons following his Rookie of the Year debut in Sacramento, Evans bounced back with a brilliant campaign in Memphis last season, stroking a career-best 39.9 percent of his 3s while also turning in a career-low turnover rate as an efficient playmaker for the Grizzlies. He could be a central-casting backup to and sometimes partner for All-Star lead guard Victor Oladipo.

"McDermott has struggled guarding either forward position in the pros and doesn’t offer much beyond shooting and floor-spacing, but he does offer that, drilling 40 percent of his 3-pointers over four NBA seasons. If Nate McMillan can find as much success in rounding out his game as he had with Bogdanovic last season, they could form a quietly quality one-two punch at the three spot.

LeBron James officially signs with Lakers

  LeBron James officially signs with Lakers As expected, James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.The free agent had already announced via his agency on July 2 that he had agreed to a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers.

Advice: Indiana also renounced the free agent rights to Trevor Booker and Joe Young. This move coincides with the Pacers agreeing to terms with Kyle O'Quinn. In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once .

In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once . Fantasy Basketball : NBA Free Agency -- Part III. CBS Sports.

"O’Quinn can be foul-happy on the interior and a bit too audacious trying to make plays out of the high post, but in short doses, he’s a voracious rebounder, a dynamic facilitator and a quality rim protector who should slot in well behind (and perhaps, at times, alongside) incumbent bigs Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.

"As was the case last season, the Pacers will go as Oladipo goes, especially on offense. But if Turner can fulfill his promise as a stretch-five in the making, if rookie guard Aaron Holiday can earn a role in the backcourt, and if rising sophomore big man T.J. Leaf can take a step forward into the second-unit void, Indiana looks like the rare Eastern Conference team that’s just sort of pretty good everywhere. The names don’t blow your hair back, but the fits seem solid and the depth looks strong. In a remixed East, that could be enough for 50-plus wins and a nice long postseason run — not only this year, but for the next few, too."

The Sporting News' Sean Deveney also included the Pacers among his free agency winners.

"Indiana was the No. 5 seed in the East least year, with 48 wins, and took Cleveland to seven games in the first round — same as Boston, and three more than the Raptors. They haven’t made headline-grabbing signings, but they addressed weaknesses by signing shooter Doug McDermott and wing Tyreke Evans, plus adding point-guard depth with Aaron Holiday in the draft.

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In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency 7h. Finally on a winner , Kyle O'Quinn embraces new ch

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"They did all this while maintaining flexibility in the short and long terms, making for a nice Pacers summer so far."

Bleacher Report's Dan Favale was also impressed by the Pacers' offseason so far.

"Noticeably upgrading the roster without jeopardizing future flexibility is difficult. The after-LeBron Lakers are proof.

"The Indiana Pacers have done a better job on the margins. Granted, they didn't land a GOAT candidate. And they don't have to plan around Luol Deng's salary dreck. But they picked up Doug McDermott at a tidy price (three years, $22 million) and are paying Tyreke Evans above-market money ($12 million) to re-enter free agency next summer.

"Signing both will make a difference. So too will Kyle O'Quinn. The Pacers offense lazed through a post-All-Star slump, placing 23rd in points scored per 100 possessions — a far cry from their top-six showing over the first leg of the season and the symptom of a larger problem: shot selection.

"Indiana leaned on long mid-rangers more than any other team, according to Cleaning the Glass. Even with half the rotation lighting it up from awkward distances, that distribution is untenable when trying to crack the upper echelon of efficiency. Last year's Minnesota Timberwolves were the exception, and they're due to rediscover solid ground next season.

Winderman: NBA free agency not landscape altering | Commentary

  Winderman: NBA free agency not landscape altering | Commentary There are years when NBA free agency is transformative. Think 2010, when Dwyane Wade. LeBron James and Chris Bosh did the Big Three thing with the Miami Heat. Or 2016, when Kevin Durant jumped from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the colossus that has become the Golden State Warriors.And then there is this offseason, when some of the biggest moves are the ones that didn't happen, such as Paul George staying with the Thunder or contributing role players such as Fred VanVleet and Rudy Gay opting for the status quo.No, the NBA will not be reshaped by the Summer of 2018.

In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once . The Indianapolis Star•4 hours ago. GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 93, Pacers 88. Would Indiana Pacers ' center Myles Turner consider playing for his hometown Mavericks? SportsDay. Notebook: Pacers Create Cap Flexibility.

Potential Indiana Pacers free agents : Ian Clark. The Indiana Pacers have needs in the depth department heading into this summer. In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once .

"Increasing 3-point attempts helps neutralize that potential variance. But you need the requisite shooters. The Pacers didn't have high-volume snipers before now. Bojan Bogdanovic and Victor Oladipo were the only players who averaged more than five deep-ball looks per 36 minutes.

"Evans and McDermott marry quantity to efficiency. McDermott canned 42.6 percent of his treys on modest volume last season, and Evans connected on 39.9 percent of his outside shots while attempting more than six per 36 minutes.

"He will be particularly crucial to the Pacers climbing the Eastern Conference totem pole. They have secondary ball-handlers in Darren Collison and Cory Joseph, but he is something more.

"Evans bent defenses as the de facto primary with Memphis, excelling more so as a central focus than an insurance policy. Curry, Durant and Kyrie Irving were the only other players to average at least 19 points and five assists per game while shooting 39 percent or better from beyond the arc.

"To gain so much value while maintaining access to around $50 million in space next summer, even after accounting for Myles Turner's restricted free-agency hold, is absurd. In doing so, the Pacers have struck the most delicate balance of all — especially for an overachiever like themselves. They've done a lot without doing too much."

SI.com's Rob Mahoney graded the Pacers' signing of Tyreke Evans a B.

"In Evans, Indiana adds just the sort of secondary ball-handler it needs to take a step forward. Darren Collison and Cory Joseph can help a team maintain order. Evans shakes things loose. His offense is aggressive and unpredictable enough to throw opponents off-balance, particularly now that he's knocking down threes and long twos with regularity. If a fit is made, the Pacers can look into bringing Evans back next summer, when they'll be able to remake the majority of their roster around Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis. If not, there's no harm done beyond this season and a smart try."

Paul George: Lakers were ‘tempting’ in free agency

  Paul George: Lakers were ‘tempting’ in free agency George: 'Honestly, I wanted to come back home'But he pledged to return to Oklahoma City in the first hour of free agency (and apparently decided weeks prior).

In rare twist , Indiana Pacers are NBA free agency winners for once . The Indianapolis Star•5 hours ago. GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 93, Pacers 88. Would Indiana Pacers ' center Myles Turner consider playing for his hometown Mavericks? SportsDay. Notebook: Pacers Create Cap Flexibility.

NBA Coach of the year? Here's how Nate McMillan stacks up. "It's going to get us bull-tough and battle tested," Thaddeus Young said last week. July 9, 2018, 8:27 p.m. In rare twist , Pacers are free agency winners .

Rohan Nadkarni of SI.com's The Crossover graded the Doug McDermott signing a C+.

"The Pacers seemingly pivoted to McDermott once Will Barton committed to Denver. The player the Pacers signed is not your older brother’s Doug McDermott, however. The same guy who was a defensive liability for the Thunder and Bulls was actually a slight positive on that end for the Knicks and Mavs last season. Both of those teams had a better defensive rating with McDermott on the court, though it’s not quite time to call him a 3-and-D specialist. This isn’t a home-run signing for Indiana. The Pacers could still use more athleticism on the wing, and particularly after letting go of Lance Stephenson, Indy needs a secondary ball-handler to relieve pressure on Victor Oladipo. McBuckets should slide in nicely next to Oladipo in some lineups, providing good spacing alongside Bojan Bogdanovic. But those groups could eventually have a tough time defending consistently. Ultimately, McDermott won’t move the needle significantly in Indy, but his contract is manageable and the Pacers still have some cap space to play with."

ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton was particularly impressed with the O'Quinn pickup.

"Long a standout by advanced metrics, O'Quinn has had a tougher time winning the trust of coaches because of his occasional tendency to try to do too much and unwillingness to serve as a dive man in the pick-and-roll. Last season's 18 minutes per game with the New York Knicks were a career high for O'Quinn.

"That's all Indiana should need from him, what with Myles Turner as the starter at center and Domantas Sabonis capable of playing both frontcourt spots. I tend to prefer Sabonis as a 5. Analysis of lineup data from NBA Advanced Stats shows the Pacers outscored opponents by 2.5 points per 100 possessions in the nearly 1,500 minutes Sabonis played at center last season, as compared to a minus-1.5 net rating in his 345 minutes at power forward.

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"That said, Indiana was unlikely to find a power forward as effective as O'Quinn with the room midlevel, and an O'Quinn-Sabonis frontcourt should be more versatile and effective than Sabonis' pairing with Al Jefferson.

"With the Pacers' roster largely complete — they'll have 14 players under contract with O'Quinn, though Alex Poythress' salary is non-guaranteed at this point and Ike Anigbogu's only partially guaranteed -— they seem to have improved on the roster that pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the opening round.

"Complacency was the potential danger of Indiana's unexpected success last season, and give the Pacers credit for avoiding that. They've also maintained flexibility for the summer of 2019, when they could create nearly $60 million in cap space but also have the opportunity to stay over the cap and re-sign these players if they perform well."

Lakers' frenetic roster moves still not enough to surpass Warriors .
The Lakers have made a massive roster change this offseason, but the clashing personalities could spell disaster.The Lakers did it, they got LeBron James.

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