The Indiana Pacers made it official on Wednesday when they announced a multi-year contract extension for veteran guard/forward Paul George.
The contract will reportedly pay him between 80 million and $90 million, and contains an escalator clause which could earn him even more. The move follows a new contract for David West that will pay $36 over 3 years. Larry Bird is obviously committed to keeping his team’s core together.
At 6-7, 225-pound George’s career took a big step forward, with an average of 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in the 2012-2013 season. He was instrumental to the Pacers’ playoff run when Danny Granger was forced to miss nearly all of the regular season and all of the playoffs.
We are talking about a 23-year old player who held his own against the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James in 13 playoff games. He was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player and was represented the Eastern Conference as a reserve in the NBA All-Star Game. Last year erased any question as to whether he was worth the Pacers’ No. 1 draft pick (10th overall) in the 2010 draft.
“I want to thank the Pacers for believing in me when they drafted me,” said George. “To continue my career with the Pacers was a very easy decision. We have great ownership, a great front office, great fans and I’m blessed with great coaches and great teammates. I use great a lot because that is what this franchise is and I’m hopeful we can be part of great things in the future.”
Or, as Larry Bird put it, “Paul represents not only what our team and franchise is about, but what a professional athlete should be. He strives every day to be the best he can be, as a player, as a teammate, as a person and as a representative of this franchise.”