Let’s assume George stays put in Indiana next season, and that the Pacers continue to ask him to be the best player on both ends and the team leader. We can grouse about whether George ought to stay put and try to build his own Indiana legacy rather than hunting for a better roster, but that’s pointless. If competitiveness is what George is seeking, the Pacers will have a lot to get done in the next year to persuade him to stay.
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They’ll have to sign point guard Jeff Teague, who has been a key to reconfiguring the team around offense. Teague is a free agent this summer, and a league source estimated he would seek a contract near the max, or similar to the five-year, $150 million deal signed by Mike Conley in Memphis last year. Teague grew up in Indianapolis, though, and would like to stay with the Pacers, leaving open the possibility of a hometown discount.
Kids Zaza Pachulia Jersey But if the Pacers want to keep George, they’ll have to keep Teague. If Teague gets away, Indiana is likely looking at a full-scale rebuild, and George does not want to be part of that.
They’ll also need a remake of the bench, which has been one of the worst in the league this season. They’ll be limited, because they owe $28 million to Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson and Rodney Stuckey (unless Stuckey opts out), and this year’s bench gambles, like Kevin Seraphin and Aaron Brooks, did not work out particularly well.
Barnes: That’s what has kept me around for 15 years. My job is to protect guys like Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson). But I also have goons like David West, Zaza (Pachulia) and Draymond (Green). Now we need to keep Dray on the court. So I’ll be handling things. But we aren’t a team you want to try.