paul george

Paul George says he’ll sign a contract extension with Pacers before the season begins


Back in July, Paul George did in fact say that “it would be tough to say no to Kobe” if the Lakers came calling when he potentially entered the summer of 2014 as a restricted free agent.

There was no panic in PacerLand, however, because George qualified that statement by saying how happy he is playing in Indiana, and later made it clear that he has no intention of leaving the team any time soon.

George could let this season play out before becoming a restricted free agent next summer, but the Pacers would simply match any offer he would receive. Or, he could avoid all that by signing a long-term extension to stay with the team before the October 31 deadline to do so.

From Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star:

“(A long-term contract) is going to get done,” George told The Indianapolis Star. “There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re (George and Pacers management) on the same page.” …

Pacers President Larry Bird said earlier this week he hopes to reach a deal before the season because it would remove a potential distraction and give George a sense of security that many players crave — including Bird himself during his Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics.

“We are working on it now,” Bird said. “We’ve got a way set up where we definitely think we can get something done, but it’s going to have to work for both parties.”

The Pacers, of course, are coming off of a season that saw them push the eventual champion Miami Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

George was a big part of that, and even received mid-game, on-court dap from LeBron James during a particularly competitive sequence between the two teams’ respective stars.

The Pacers are on the rise, and added depth this offseason. Roy Hibbert might be the team’s most dominant presence, but George is its star player, capable of spectacular things. It’s wise for the Pacers to lock him up with a long-term deal as soon as he’ll sign, and it’s great for the franchise that he doesn’t want to play anywhere else.

Mark Cuban suggests supplemental draft for undrafted free agents

Mark Cuban
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A lot of people around the NBA have ideas to improve the draft, free agency and the D-League, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been shy about sharing his. His latest idea seems pretty logical: a supplemental draft for undrafted free agents.

Via Hoops Rumors:

“I would have a supplemental draft every summer for undrafted free agents of the current and previous 3 years,” Cuban wrote in an email to Hoops Rumors. “If you are more than 3 years out you are not eligible and just a free agent.”

The supplemental draft would have two rounds, and teams would hold the rights to the players they select for two years, Cuban added. Players can opt out and choose not to make themselves eligible, but those who get picked would receive fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts when they sign, according to Cuban’s proposal.

“That would make it fun a few weeks after the draft and pre-summer league,” Cuban wrote. “It would prevent some of the insanity that goes on to build summer league rosters.”

It’s an interesting proposition. Most undrafted players who sign during the summer don’t get guaranteed contracts, so when deciding to enter this supplemental draft, they would have to weigh the value of having guaranteed money versus getting to decide where they sign. It’s unlikely that anything like this could happen anytime soon, because of all the hoops to jump through to get the league and the players’ union to sign off on it, but it’s a worthwhile idea that deserves some consideration in the next CBA negotiations.

Kevin Love to practice with Cavs on Saturday

Kevin Love
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The Cavaliers’ training camp has so far been filled with bad news and uncertainty, from Tristan Thompson‘s continuing contract holdout to Iman Shumpert‘s wrist injury (which will sideline him for up to three months) to Kyrie Irving continuing to be limited. But here’s some good news: Kevin Love will fully participate in practice with the team on Saturday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in last year’s first-round series against the Celtics.

From’s Chris Haynes:

Head coach David Blatt announced on Wednesday that power forward Kevin Love will make his first full practice debut on Saturday. The three-time All-Star has been rehabbing ever since undergoing shoulder surgery in May.

“He’s coming along real nice,” Blatt said.

On Monday Love was cleared to participate in 3-on-3 basketball workouts. Prior, he was only allowed to do individual work that consisted of absorbing contact from a pad in the post.

It’s unclear when Love will be able to play in a game, but the fact that he’s been cleared to return to practice is undoubtedly a good sign for Cleveland, and there’s hope that he’ll be able to play on opening night against the Bulls on October 27. With all the bad breaks the Cavs have caught this summer, it’s nice to see some good injury news for once.