The 2013-14 season didn't end as Paul George had hoped, but it turns out there was at least a financial silver lining. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reports that, "As part of the contract that George signed with the Indiana Pacers last summer, making the All-NBA team activates a bonus of nearly $7 million in that deal, according to sources."
Windhorst explains that the bonus is due to the "Rose Provision," which "allows for a player on a maximum contract to get a significant raise if he wins MVP, gets voted to start in two All-Star games or is named to two All-NBA teams before the max contract kicks in. George's new contract begins this summer."
In 2012, USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt offered some background on the rule:
It is officially called the Fifth Year 30 Percent Max Rule, and Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose qualified for it because he was named NBA MVP while still on his rookie scale contract, and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant qualified because he was All-NBA first team in 2009-10 and 2010-11, his third and fourth NBA seasons.
George was previously due to make just under $3.3 million for this last season, the final of his rookie contract.
He beat out some stiff competition for the third-team selection, most notably forward Carmelo Anthony, who wasn't named to any of the All-NBA teams. But, given his two-way credentials, it's hard to argue against the vote.
George's Pacers underwent internal turmoil during the latter half of the season but still managed to push the Miami Heat to six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. George himself dropped 37 points in a Game 5 victory that kept Indiana alive for another day.
With plenty of time left to continue developing, the best is likely yet to come for the 24-year-old. The franchise has opted to build around George, signing him to a long-term maximum extension that allows him a player-option to remain with the team through the 2018-19 season.
Few doubt that George will remain a dynamic star for the foreseeable future. The bigger question is whether the rest of the Pacers will rise to his level. Center Roy Hibbert yielded a number of uneven performances this season, especially early in the playoffs. Guard Lance Stephenson displayed a lot of talent, but also proved something of a distraction down the stretch.
George's biggest challenge moving forward won't be his play, but his ability to lead a locker room that sometimes seemed dysfunctional.
Nevertheless, the Pacers will likely remain in the title discussion for the next several years, and George will be one of the principal reasons. His days on the All-NBA team are just beginning.