Pacers Sign Paul George To Five-Year Max Deal

WEDNESDAY, 9:53am: The Pacers have officially announced George's contract extension in a press release. For a breakdown on what the specifics of the deal should look like, check out our write-up from Monday.

TUESDAY, 3:46pm: George and the Pacers have finalized an agreement, and will make it official tomorrow, tweets Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. The team has sent out a press release announcing an 11:00am press conference.

MONDAY, 1:15pm: While George has been talking about his extension as if it's a done deal, Pacers president Larry Bird tells Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star that it's close, but not quite finished.

"That’s why I’m not playing golf today," Bird told Pointer, during an appearance before a Pacers Foundation golf outing at Brickyard Crossing. "I’m going back to the office to work on it."

Even as Bird pumps the brakes a little, it sounds to me as if it will just be a matter of days before we hear an official announcement from the team.

SUNDAY, 9:21pm: The Pacers and Paul George are finalizing a five-year deal worth more than $90MM, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.  George is represented by Aaron Mintz of CAA Sports, according to the Hoops Rumors Agency Database.

George, 23, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent following the conclusion of the 2013/14 season.  While there wasn't a ton of concern that George would flee the Pacers, fans were able to breathe even easier thanks to the star's comments over the summer.  Last week, George said point blank that a contract extension was "going to get done" between him and the club.

The forward was named the NBA's Most Improved Player for 2012/13, when he set career-highs in PPG (17.4), RPG (7.6), PER (16.8), and several other categories. He also helped lead the Pacers to within one game of the NBA Finals, even without the services of Danny Granger.

George boosted his scoring average from 17.0 PPG in the regular season to 19.2 PPG during the Pacers' playoff run.  He made himself a household name in the postseason and he could make himself known even more on a global scale if he's part of USA Basketball's 2014 team and the 2016 Olympic team in Brazil.

With George under contract for the forseeable future, the Pacers can now turn their focus to finishing what they started last season.  George will spearhead an improved team this season that will feature a healthy Granger and an improved bench with offseason additions Luis Scola and Chris Copeland off the bench.

Indiana re-signed David West to a three-year, $36MM extension in July and locked up Roy Hibbert with a four-year, $58MM deal last summer.  The Pacers had until October 31st to hammer something out with George, but it looks like they can use the next few weeks to go candy shopping instead.


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