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Pacers Willing to Offer George Max Contract
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Pacers team president Larry Bird told Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star that he feels star George is a max contract player. Per Taylor, Bird added he and George discussed a possible deal over the summer and that the team will agree to a max deal when George is ready.
George, 26, acknowledged in August to Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com that initial talks on a contract extension had taken place, though "nothing extensive."
But he seems pleased with the direction the organization has taken in the offseason and the moves Bird has orchestrated, as he told Taylor in July:
I’m glad he's not letting me waste years. I think Larry and (the rest of the front office) have expressed how bad they want to get back to (the Eastern Conference finals) by these moves this offseason. I’m looking forward to getting us back there. He’s putting talent around me to help me get to what we all want to get accomplish, and that’s a championship.
George played like a max contract player in 2015-16, averaging 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the Toronto Raptors in Game 7.
Now George will lead a revamped core of players that includes Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson. There are big expectations for both George and the Pacers—expectations that appear likely to lead to his receiving a max extension.
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