Central Notes: York, Ivey, Duren, Holiday, Antetokounmpo

Rick Carlisle said Gabe York deserved to get promoted to a two-way deal with the Pacers, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files reports. York made a brief appearance in the NBA last season and has spent this season with the G League Fort Wayne Mad Ants. York wasn’t active for Friday’s game, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star tweets.

“Loyalty and consistency should be rewarded,” the Pacers coach said. “So this is a decision that came down, obviously ownership has to approve it, but management and the coaching staff were completely in agreement that Gabe deserved this opportunity. It’s great for him, it’s great for us.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons have just 16 victories but at least their two lottery picks are finishing the season strong, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Earlier this week, Jaden Ivey had a career-best 32 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists against Milwaukee, while Jalen Duren supplied 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists off the bench. “It means everything,” Duren said. “We’re competing for next year at this point. We’re still learning and growing and getting better. It’s not time to go on vacation until the buzzer hits on the court in Chicago (April 9). I’m just locked in and focused on keep growing and getting better until the season is over.”
  • Speaking of the Bucks, Jrue Holiday has earned a $331K bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Holiday has exceeded 2,000 minutes this season — 2,082 to be exact — entering the weekend while appearing in 64 games.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo would be thrilled to win another Most Valuable Player award but he’s focused on winning a second NBA championship with the Bucks, he told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. “Do I think it’s a priority for me? No,” he said of winning MVP. “The priority for me is to get better, to help my team win a championship, to get that feeling again.” A recent ESPN straw poll indicated that the Bucks star trails Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic in the MVP race.
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