Paul George Rumors
April 25 at 9:01pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets
that the U.S. Attorney's office has indicted Prim Capital for falsifying a document to defraud the NBPA
of $3MM. Wojnarowski provided a link to the full press release
earlier as well. Prim Capital, in which the son of former NBPA executive director Billy Hunter was vice president, previously had a consulting contract with the player's union that was later deemed fraudulent by the U.S. Attorney's office. Here are more of tonight's odds and ends:
- Knicks guard Jason Kidd credits Kenyon Martin for "saving our season," writes Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York. It is difficult to imagine where New York would have been without Martin's contributions, especially as the team has dealt with plenty of injuries in their frontcourt.
- Eric Koreen of the National Post outlines the top ten legacies that are on the line during the NBA playoffs.
- Jon Humbert of KOMO tweets that the Longshore Union filed an appeal over the land use challenge for the Seattle arena. Last month, a report from The Seattle Times (via the Associated press) said that the Longshoremen have been in staunch opposition of an arena being built near the Seattle waterfront, due to the congestion of the area that would be caused by athletic events.
- Mike James proved to be a viable pickup for the Mavericks this season, averaging 8.1 PPG and 4.2 APG while helping the team finish 15-8 over their final 23 games. Although James said recently that he'd like to play two more seasons with the Mavs, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas discusses why the Amityville product doesn't figure to be in the team's long-term plans.
- Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace is expected to travel to Rome next week to scout Gigi Datome, according to Sportando.net (hat tip to Il Corriere dello Sport).
- Following up on a hypothetical trade proposed by Grantland's Bill
Simmons, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com examines the possibility of
the Bulls trying to trade for Kevin Love, exploring whether a package of
Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, the rights to Nikola Mirotic, and
Charlotte's first-round pick would be more than Chicago would be willing
to give up.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld looks at the evolution of Paul George into an All-Star and a leader in the Pacers locker room.
April 23 at 2:50pm CST By Luke Adams
As the Cavs work toward officially re-hiring Mike Brown as their new head coach, here are a few more Tuesday updates out of the Central Division:
- Paul George was named the NBA's Most Improved Player of 2012/13 earlier today, and Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star tweets that a contract extension could be next for the 22-year-old. George will be entering the final year of his rookie deal this summer, making him extension-eligible, and Pacers owner Herb Simon "will be paying up," according to Wells.
- David Morway, the former Pacers GM who played a crucial role in Indiana's rebuilding process, talked to Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld about the process of rebuilding an NBA franchise, suggesting that there isn't necessarily one specific way to approach the task.
- As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes in his latest column, two key contributors to the Bulls' Game Two win in Brooklyn last night, Tom Thibodeau and Nazr Mohammed, had been pursued by the Nets in the past.
- Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't expect the draft, free agency, or a new coach to make a huge impact for the Bucks, and wonders if a new ownership group would provide the sort of shake-up the franchise needs.
April 23 at 9:17am CST By Chuck Myron
TUESDAY, 9:17am: George has officially been named the NBA's Most Improved Player for 2012/13, according to a Pacers press release. Greivis Vasquez was the runner-up, while Larry Sanders, Nikola Vucevic, and Jrue Holiday rounded out the top five vote-getters.
MONDAY, 9:40pm: Paul George of the Pacers will be named the NBA's Most Improved Player, sources confirm to HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy (Twitter link). The Pacers called a "major" press conference for tomorrow, which initially led Kennedy and others to speculate that it is to announce that George has won the award.
George stepped into the shoes of the injured Danny Granger, the 2009 Most Improved Player who missed all but five games this year, and took over as Indiana's leading scorer this season. His points per game soared to 17.4 from 12.1 last season, and his rebounding and assist production also saw healthy jumps. Still, his shooting and three-point accuracy declined as the Pacers leaned more heavily on him, and his PER held nearly steady at 16.8, after he posted a 16.5 in that category in 2011/12.
George, in his third season out of Fresno State, also made his first All-Star Game this year, and was a part of Indiana's tough defense that gave up 90.7 PPG, second only to the Grizzlies. The 22-year-old opened up the postseason yesterday with a triple-double against the Hawks, though the votes were taken before the playoffs began. He'll be eligible for an extension to his rookie-scale contract this summer.
There are always plenty of candidates for the award, and this year was no exception. Larry Sanders, Greivis Vasquez, J.J. Hickson and Jrue Holiday all made intriguing cases, and we'll see just how close they came when the league reveals the voting.
April 4 at 7:31pm CST By Michael Pina
As the Bulls take the court in Brooklyn tonight, here's a quick look around the NBA's Central Division.
February 23 at 10:13am CST By Sean Highkin
Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld has a new column examining which teams have a chance to be title contenders five seasons from now, taking into account possible moves in free agency and the ages of the teams' core players.
- Brigham believes the Thunder still have the brightest future, given that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka will all be under 30 in five seasons.
- LeBron James' free agency will play a major role in determining the next title contender, Brigham writes. The health and effectiveness of Dwyane Wade will determine whether James stays with the Heat, but the Cavaliers and Lakers are also possible destinations.
- On that note, Brigham writes that, although Kyrie Irving is blossoming into a superstar, the Cavs will not be a contender unless James signs in Cleveland.
- The Bulls will still be contenders if Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah stay healthy, Brigham writes. He also notes that Nikola Mirotic will have come over to the NBA by then.
- The trade for Thomas Robinson added another young piece to the James Harden/Jeremy Lin core the Rockets have built, Brigham writes. Additionally, the team is still well under the cap and can add another high-level player via free agency.
- Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge give the Blazers a solid core to build around, writes Brigham.
- Brigham writes that there will be uncertainty every year for the next five as to whether Chris Paul will still be with the Clippers.
- Even if Stephen Curry's ankles don't hold up, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes give the Warriors a good young core, Brigham says.
- Brigham writes that the Pacers have excellent cornerstone players in Roy Hibbert and Paul George.
February 16 at 11:15pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Saturday evening:
January 15 at 6:49pm CST By Alex Lee
With six games on the NBA docket tonight, let's round up any odds and ends from around the Association here:
- In HoopsWorld's NBA PM column, Alex Kennedy summarizes some of the trade chatter we've heard recently from the Mavericks, Grizzlies, Raptors, Rockets, Lakers, Magic and Jazz.
- Speaking of the Mavs, despite Mark Cuban's recent bold proclamations, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas writes that it is business as usual in Dallas. While some of the Mavs players admit that swirling rumors can be a distraction, Rick Carlisle says it has always been the norm in his time under Cuban.
- In a Yahoo Sports video, Greg Anthony and Marc J. Spears discuss the leading candidates for the NBA's Most Improved Player award, specifically mentioning Paul George, James Harden, Greivis Vasquez, Nikola Vucevic and Jrue Holiday as the current contenders.
- In the New York Times' Off The Dribble blog, Jim Cavan writes that the Pacers have been one of the few teams that has arguably benefited from losing a superstar to injury this year, citing the emergence of Paul George as a franchise player in Danny Granger's absence as the reason.
December 18 at 4:16pm CST By Chuck Myron
Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game is covering the Warriors these days, but the former ESPN reporter still comes across plenty of leaguewide news, as he did with his story today on the Magic, who are in no hurry to trade J.J. Redick, as Bucher reports. He shared a few more tidbits in a chat for CSNBayArea.com, and we'll round up the highlights:
- The Pacers "desperately" want Paul George to emerge as their No. 1 option so they can trade Danny Granger, who's out for the first half of the season. The problem is George hasn't exactly distinguished himself as such this year. Many of his numbers are up, but that's partly because of his increased responsibilties with Granger out. George's field goal percentage is down, as are his win shares per 48 minutes, while his PER is up only slightly, to 16.7 from 16.5 last season. Granger is due about $13MM this year and $14MM for the final year of his deal in 2013/14.
- Executives on teams other than the Clippers have told Bucher that Chris Paul isn't as satisfied in L.A., or playing with Blake Griffin, as he seems, though Bucher isn't sure whether the executives might be spinning that information in the hopes Paul will turn his attention elsewhere in free agency next summer.
- The Raptors and Cavs are eager to make a trade, according to Bucher, who adds that he thinks at least one deal will get done either this month or next. Aside from that, most teams are playing it cool with still more than two months to go before the trade deadline.
- Dominic McGuire signed with the Hornets this weekend, but Bucher says he really wanted to go back to the Warriors, for whom he played last season. Golden State, off to a 16-8 start, is content with its roster, which is at the 15-player limit.
December 17 at 12:25pm CST By Chuck Myron
TNT's David Aldridge checks in as usual on a Monday with his Morning Tip column at NBA.com, and this week's edition is full of trade rumors as talk heats up around the league. Here's a digest of Aldridge's latest scuttlebutt, with a heavy focus on the Raptors.
- While Andrea Bargnani's elbow injury will keep him out for a month, delaying trade talk, one rival GM is convinced he'll eventually be leaving the Raptors, feeling as though there's no doubt GM Bryan Colangelo will trade him.
- The Raptors are leery of adding another international player, according to Aldridge, which would make them reluctant to trade for Pau Gasol.
- Aldridge speculates the Raptors won't deal Jose Calderon to the Lakers, and instead ship him somewhere for a draft pick to create a massive trade exception. Aldridge writes that such a trade exception would be $15.6MM, but I believe it would be closer to $10.6MM, reflecting Calderon's salary.
- A league executive speculates that the Cavs will hold on to Varejao through the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can become a free agent, so they can make a pitch to their erstwhile superstar. In any case, the Cavs have set Varejao's asking price too high for other teams' tastes, as they often do with their many of their players, according to Aldridge.
- Though the Thunder are reportedly content to stand pat for now, Aldridge believes they could try to move the Raptors pick they got from the Rockets in the James Harden trade, speculating that one of their targets could be Varejao.
- Aldridge spoke with a GM who joins the seeming consensus that the Jazz are more likely to deal Paul Millsap than Al Jefferson. The GM believes Jefferson is a better fit with Derrick Favors.
- The Bucks want an upgrade at small forward, and Aldridge thinks the team is more likely to move "one of its undersized four or oversized threes" than trade Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis.
- The Wizards are open to trading one of their big men for veteran help at the point, where they're woefully thin in John Wall's absence.
- The Pacers are willing to tinker, but aren't putting Paul George or George Hill on the table.
- No one aside from Jrue Holiday is off-limits as the Sixers seek a big man, though it would take a lot to pry Thaddeus Young or Evan Turner from their hands.
October 22 at 11:30am CST By Luke Adams
The Pacers announced a series of roster moves today in a press release, formally exercising their 2013/14 option on Paul George and releasing three players: Luke Nevill, Sundiata Gaines, and Blake Ahearn.
The three cuts reduce the Pacers' roster to 15 players, though it's unclear if the club will carry a full 15-man roster into the regular season. Camp invitee Ben Hansbrough is still on the roster, on a fully non-guaranteed contract, and wasn't considered likely to make the team. Sam Young also has a contract that only has a small guarantee, though he appears a much stronger bet to stick around.
While Nevill had a fully non-guaranteed deal, both Ahearn and Gaines had $25K guarantees on their contracts, so the Pacers will take a very small cap hit for both players.
As for George, he was the only Pacer with an option decision pending for 2013/14. That will be the final year of his rookie contract, and he'll earn a guaranteed $3.28MM salary before potentially becoming a restricted free agent in the summer of 2014. The Pacers will also have the opportunity to sign him to a long-term extension in the 2013 offseason.