Indiana Pacers

Pacers Notes: Turner, Bird, Scouting

Having Nate McMillan as his head coach should accelerate the development of Pacers big man Myles Turner, states Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. In a video interview, Bucher names Turner as one of the NBA’s young players to watch for next season, and part of the reason is the addition of McMillan, who was hired in May to replace Frank Vogel. Bucher notes that Turner has many qualities similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, whom McMillan helped to develop into an All-Star as head coach of the Trail Blazers nearly a decade ago. Bucher believes Turner will also benefit from an upgrade at point guard, where Jeff Teague was picked up in a trade with the Hawks to replace George Hill. The 20-year-old Turner averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 60 games last season.

There’s more news out of Indiana:

  •  After an offseason spent acquiring offense, the Pacers must prove they can be successful with their new approach, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders.  For about 20 years, Indiana has been a physical, defensive-minded team that won with hard-working overachievers, Greene notes. But team president Larry Bird decided he wanted to build a better offense, which is why Vogel was let go. Bird followed up that move by dealing for Teague and power forward Thaddeus Young, then signing center Al Jefferson to a three-year, $30MM deal in free agency. Teamed with Paul George and Monta Ellis, the Pacers can now put scorers on the floor at every position.
  • The Pacers have named José Luis Galilea as their new overseas talent evaluator, according to Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. He replaces Pete Philo, who left the organization in May. Indiana now has eight full-time scouts and 11 overall.

Salary Cap Snapshot: Indiana Pacers

With the free agent signing period winding down and teams looking ahead to the preseason, we at Hoops Rumors will be tracking the Salary Cap figures for each team around the league.  These posts will be maintained throughout the season once financial data is reported. They will be located on the sidebar throughout the year, once all the teams’ cap figures have been relayed. The next franchise we’ll be looking at are the Indiana Pacers, who currently are under the league’s salary cap of $94,143,000 for the 2016/17 season. You can always check for up-to-date rosters for each franchise, with the Pacers’ team page accessible here.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Pacers currently stand financially:

Guaranteed Salary

Total Guaranteed Salary= $88,041,623

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • None

Total Non-Guaranteed Salary= $0

Eligible for Rookie Scale Extensions: None

Cash Sent Out Via Trade: $0 [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Cash Received Via Trade: TBD — Received an undisclosed amount from Mavericks as part of Jeremy Evans trade [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Payroll Exceptions Available

  • Room Exception: $2,898,000

Total Projected Payroll: $88,041,623

Salary Cap: $94,143,000

Estimated Available Cap Space: $6,101,377

Luxury Tax Threshold: $113,287,000

Amount Below Luxury Tax: $25,245,377

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

Pacers To Sign Alex Poythress

The Pacers have agreed to a deal with undrafted free agent Alex Poythress, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. The exact length and terms of the arrangement are unknown, but the scribe does note that the pact includes a partial guarantee. The 22-year-old will likely be ticketed to spend the 2016/17 campaign in the NBA D-League with Indiana’s affiliate in Fort Wayne, Wojnarowski notes.

Poythress had missed the bulk of the 2014/15 campaign due to a torn left ACL. Returning to Kentucky as a senior, Poythress made 31 appearances and averaged 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 23.6 minutes per contest. His shooting line for the Wildcats was .601/.304/.706.

The forward appeared in five contests for the Magic’s summer league squad in Orlando, averaging 5.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 10.6 minutes per outing.

Paul George Excited About Pacers' New Direction

  • Paul George tells Sean Highkin of ProBasketballTalk that he’s excited about the Pacers‘ new direction, including the addition of veteran point guard Jeff Teague. “[Pacers president] Larry [Bird] has put it on display that he wants to get us back to the Eastern Conference [playoffs], see where we can take it from there,” George said.

Shayne Whittington To Play In Spain

Former Pacers big man Shayne Whittington didn’t take long to find a new home. After being cut by Indiana in late July, Whittington will head overseas for the coming season, having signed a contract with Spanish club Obradoiro CAB. The ex-Pacer himself confirmed the deal in a post on Instagram.

“Really excited to announce that I’ll be starting a new chapter in my life in Santiago De Compostela, Spain with Obradoiro CAB,” Whittington wrote. “Great league and a great opportunity for me and my family!”

Whittington, 25, spent parts of the last two seasons with the Pacers, going back forth between Indiana and Fort Wayne, where the team’s D-League affiliate plays. During that time, the Western Michigan alum has appeared in 27 total NBA games, averaging a modest 2.5 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.5 minutes per contest.

Indiana would have had to guarantee Whittington’s $980,431 salary for 2016/17 if he had remained on the team’s roster past August 1. By waiving him before then, the Pacers ensured that they were no longer on the hook for his cap hit.

And-Ones: Jones, Buycks, Stephenson

Perry Jones III  has agreed to play in Russia this upcoming season with Khimki Moscow, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter link). Jones spent last season with the Iowa Energy of the D-League after being waived by the Boston Celtics. He was selected by the Thunder with the 28th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Dwight Buycks will play in China for Fujian Quanzhou, Pick reports in a separate tweet. Buycks played for the team last season before coming stateside to join the Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League.
  • Lance Stephenson may have to look overseas if he wants to play next season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. Washburn contends that Stephenson has the talent to play in the NBA, however, his personality may be scaring teams away.
  • Stephenson made a bet on himself back in 2014 when he bypassed a five-year, $44MM deal from the Pacers in favor of a shorter deal with the Hornets. Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders revisits the shooting guard’s decision and examines the decisions of other players whom have taken shorter deals with the hope of cashing in on a big payday only to be disappointed by what the market offers.

Free Agent Spending By Division: Central

Over the course of the last week, we’ve been breaking down 2016 NBA free agent spending by division, examining which teams – and divisions – were the most active this summer.

These divisional breakdowns won’t present a full picture of teams’ offseason spending. Some notable free agents, including LeBron James, remain unsigned, so there’s still money out there to be spent. Our lists also don’t include money spent on this year’s first- and second-round picks or draft-and-stash signings. There are a few free agent names missing in some instances as well, since those deals aren’t yet official or terms haven’t been reported.

Still, these closer looks at divisional spending should generally reveal how teams invested their money in free agency this summer, identifying which clubs went all-out and which ones played it safe.

With the help of our Free Agent Tracker and contract info from Basketball Insiders, we’ll focus today on the Central division. Our breakdowns of all five other divisions can be found linked at the bottom of this post.

Let’s dive in…

1. Detroit Pistons

  • Total money committed: $207,171,313
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $207,171,313
  • Largest expenditure: Andre Drummond (five years, $127,171,313)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Ray McCallum’s deal is not included in these totals, since it’s a summer contract which won’t count toward the Pistons’ cap unless he makes the regular-season roster.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

  • Total money committed: $119,530,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $119,530,000
  • Largest expenditure: Miles Plumlee (four years, $49,600,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Dellavedova’s contract was technically the result of a sign-and-trade deal by the Cavaliers, but we’re considering it a Milwaukee signing.

3. Chicago Bulls

  • Total money committed: $78,532,117
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $65,215,696
  • Largest expenditure: Dwyane Wade (two years, $47,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Rondo’s second-year salary of $13.397MM is partially guaranteed for $3MM.

4. Indiana Pacers

  • Total money committed: $32,700,000
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $26,700,000
  • Largest expenditure: Al Jefferson (three years, $30,000,000)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Jefferson’s third-year salary of $10MM is partially guaranteed for $4MM.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Total money committed: $9,573,362
  • Guaranteed money committed (including player options): $6,960,862
  • Largest expenditure: Richard Jefferson (three years, $7,612,500)
  • Other notable signings:
  • Notes:
    • Andersen and Jones will earn $1,551,659 apiece on their minimum-salary deals, but will only be paid $980,431 each by the Cavaliers, with the NBA on the hook for the rest.
    • Jefferson’s third-year salary of $2,612,500 is fully non-guaranteed.
    • DeAndre Liggins‘ deal has been officially signed, but exact terms of that contract haven’t been reported, so we haven’t included it in the Cavs’ totals for now.
    • The Cavs have also yet to formally re-sign LeBron James, whose new contract will bump up the club’s free agent expenditures significantly. A new deal for J.R. Smith may also be on the horizon.




Paul George Energized By Team's Offseason Moves

Pacers swingman Paul George is excited about the team’s offseason additions and views next season as one that Indiana will use to vault back into championship contention, Michael Singer of USA Today relays. “I think Al Jefferson is as good as it gets in terms of low-post scorers,” George said. “Thaddeus Young has been very underrated, been forgotten about being in Brooklyn.

Rockets To Keep Michael Beasley

The Rockets will hold on to combo forward Michael Beasley, whose contract guarantee date is Monday, tweets Marc Stein of Beasley’s salary for next season will be $1,403,611 if Houston does keep him on the roster.

Beasley became an impact player for the Rockets late in the season after signing with the team March 4th following the end of his season in China. Beasley appeared in 20 games for Houston, averaging 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per night.

The 27-year-old Beasley was the second player taken in the 2008 draft, but he admits that he damaged his career with a lack of effort and a series of off-court incidents. Beasley was part of the Rockets’ Las Vegas Summer League roster earlier this month and spent most of the time as a mentor, telling younger players not to make the same mistakes he did.

Other players with salary guarantee dates on Monday are the Heat’s Rodney McGruder [$150,000 of $543,471 salary becomes guaranteed] and Josh Richardson [full $874,636 salary] and the Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III [full $1,050,500 salary].

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Cavs, Stephenson

Despite signing Rajon Rondo, who is 30, and Dwyane Wade, who will turn 35 in January, the Bulls did actually get younger this summer, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune details. Chicago will enter training camp with 10 players 25 or younger, compared with five last season, as Johnson points out. Wade’s presence should particularly help the maturation of Jimmy Butler, Johnson writes. Both Wade and Rondo have said the Bulls are Butler’s to lead.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Pacers do not appear close to re-signing unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson, per Mark Montieth of, who echoes earlier reports. The Pacers were looking for a point guard to fill their final roster spot and Aaron Brooks fit their needs better than another wing player like Stephenson, Montieth writes in a mailbag response.
  • Kay Felder impressed during the summer league and his emergence makes him one of the more intriguing rookies to watch this season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. With Matthew Dellavedova no longer on the Cavs, Felder, who is a 5’9″ point guard, has a decent shot at a backup role, Washburn adds. Felder’s size, however, does put him at a disadvantage, but, as Washburn points out, the Cavs thought highly enough of him to pay $2.4MM for his rights.

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