Report: Pacers’ Cory Joseph to opt into $8 million for next season

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The Indiana Pacers have some interesting choices to make this summer as they try to build upon a surprisingly successful 48-win season where they pushed LeBron James the Cleveland Cavaliers to the limit in the first round. Among the questions will be what happens with Thad Young, who has a player option of $13.7 million (he is expected to opt-out, but the Pacers will try to re-sign him to a longer-term deal). Indiana also wants to add another high-level scorer to go with Victor Oladipo and may be well positioned to do it — they will have the cap space to take on a contract another team wants to dump, so long as the sweetener is a player the Pacers want.

One thing we know for sure: Cory Joseph will be back at the point. From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Guard Cory Joseph will return to the Indiana Pacers, exercising the $7.95 million player option on his contract for the 2018-19 season, league sources told ESPN…

Joseph signed a four-year, $30 million deal with Toronto in 2015, and he was traded to the Pacers in the offseason.

This is good for the Pacers. Joseph was a solid player off the bench for the Pacers playing 27 minutes a night and averaging 7.9 points and 3.2 assists per games, and he hit 35.3 percent from three (but had a below-average true shooting percentage of 50.3). In the playoffs, when Darren Collison was struggling, coach Nate McMillan leaned more and more on Joseph.

For Joseph, this is the smart play financially. It’s going to be a tight free agent market and he may well not get more money or much more in terms of years this summer. However, in the summer of 2019 there is expected to be more money available, which is when he will hit free agency.