Indiana Pacers fans, you have my permission to openly rejoice. If you need to throw a parade, have a party or just let out one joyful scream, now would be the time to do it.
Unless a rather drastic shift occurs in the next few days, Paul George will be a member of the Pacers for a long, long time. As relayed by Michael Pointer of The Indianapolis Star, the swingman himself said, “[A long-term contract] is going to get done. There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re [George and Pacers management] on the same page.”
Can we just assume that it's going to be a max contract?
George broke out in a big way during the 2012-13 season, averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while becoming an All-Star and bona fide superstar. Not everyone gets a high five from LeBron James as a sign of mutual admiration during the Eastern Conference Finals.
With his elite defense and versatile offense, George took just one stellar season to become the new face of the Pacers franchise. Now, he is set to hold that title for the foreseeable future.
Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney ranked George as the No. 25 player in the Association heading into the 2013-14 season, but personally, I feel as though that's selling him short. The statistical shortcomings that the duo point out stem from his role in the Pacers offense.
Is Paul George a future Hall of Famer?
I'd have George in the mid-teens, and he's only going to continue rising. Now we just know that the rise will take place while wearing a yellow uniform.
The deal isn't officially done, but it looks like it's only a matter of time. So, Pacers fans, if you do throw a party, please don't hesitate to pass along an invite for yours truly.