Paul George hopeful to be voted on All-NBA team

Paul George battles friend George Hill, now with Utah. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

Media members have an important vote ahead of them.

No, I’m not referring to the Most Valuable Player award or Coach of the Year, which also has several serious options.

Approximately 100 media members, a combination of beat reporters covering all 30 teams and national reporters, will have an impact on Paul George and perhaps his future with the Pacers when they submit their ballot by Friday for the All-NBA teams. (In previous years, it included 130 and included both broadcasters and writers employed by teams.)

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was signed by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association on January 19, 2017 and takes effect on July 1, George is eligible for the Designated Veteran Player Extension.

“I’m one of the guys that agreed on it,” George said then. “Was happy with what our NBPA came up with. I think it’s beneficial for a lot of reasons. We’ll see when it comes to contract time.”

Of course he’s happy with it because he has a chance to earn additional serious cash.

See Also: Pacers clinch 7-seed in playoffs, face Cavs in Round 1

This extension would allow for George, who’s completing his seventh season as a pro, to sign a five-year extension at 35 percent of the salary cap. In July, he could add five more years to his existing deal, for a total of six seasons under contract with the Pacers for more than $200 million. And while official numbers are not yet known, it would be about $70 million more than any other team — but only if he is voted to one of three All-NBA teams for his play this season.

The salary cap for the 2017-18 season is projected to be $101 million, up from $94.1 million this year, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

In order to qualify for this extension, a player must have met one of the following criteria: the player was named to the All-NBA first, second, or third team, or was named Defensive Player of the Year in the immediately preceding season or in two seasons during the immediately preceding three seasons; or the player was named NBA MVP during one of the immediately preceding three seasons.

George was voted Third Team All-NBA in 2013, 2014, and 2016. He missed the first 76 games of the 2014-15 season due to the compound leg fracture.

Since March 1, George elevated his game and averaged 33.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game — and he shot 54.4 percent from the field over the final 22 games.

After he posted his third double-double in five games and scored a game-high 32 points, George was asked whether he believe he was deserving of another All-NBA honor.

“Man I hope so,” he said. “You’ve got a couple guys that so-called have been ahead of me, who have other guys on that list. I’ve been trying to lead and do it at both ends this whole season. Hopefully they take that into account, especially closing this year out, get us in the playoffs.

“If I make it I do. If I don’t, so be it.”

PG is averaging almost three 3-pointers per game at a 39-percent clip. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

George is currently the highest-paid Pacer earning $18,314,532 for this season. He’s on the books for $19,508,958 next season.

The four-time All-Star has two years left on a five-year deal worth more than $90 million that he signed in September of 2013, when he was 23 years old. George’s camp willingly took less than the max — about three percent less than the maximum of 30 percent of the cap — in exchange for a player option in the deal for the final year (2018-19).

And while the voting system is flawed in that members of the media impact a contract of a player AND potentially his future with a franchise, those 100 or so individuals have a tough decision to make. There are six forward spots, two on each of the three teams.

George’s primary competition includes LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, and Gordon Hayward. And, it could include Anthony Davis if voters classify him as a forward rather than a center. (He’s a center in my mind.)

“There’s a lot of guys in the league in his position, in the sense of (Russell) Westbrook with (Kevin) Durant leaving [the Oklahoma City Thunder], having to elevate his game and do a number of things to give his team a chance to win,” said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. “You’re seeing with James Harden, and Paul has done that.”

So when will the results be revealed? Unlike last year in late-May, it won’t be until after the Finals in June.

4 Responses to Paul George hopeful to be voted on All-NBA team
  1. […] Vigilant Sports: “Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was signed by the NBA and the National […]

  2. Aaron Coner
    April 19, 2017 | 8:42 pm

    PG is a top 6 SF. He was really a team guy this year. Worked all year to get his efficiency up from .418 to .461. Same amount of 3s. More FGs. Less FTs……refs have been ruthless towards this guy. I’ve watched all 84 games. Butler needs the confidence of Refs having his back. Paul has to score from field, stretches the floor more. LeBron surrounds himself with 3 pt shooters bcuz there is soooooo much value in spacing. These other guys are media darlings. I know they’re all good but so is Paul. He’s closed out plenty of games as well, who cares if he did it with more than 20 secs left. He’s still top 5 in clutch points. 2 minute report revealed kawhi traveled on him to get his so called go ahead bucket……go ahead and get every call much?Lastly, if Harden was penalized for FTs when he had way bigger numbers than Steph, y isn’t Butler penalized for about 9 FTs a game with less 3s and less FGs, and a lower percentage than Paul, outscoring him by only 1/5th of 1 point per game. Plus watch when they play. Paul owns him, Butler could only score on bad calls. PG scored FGs while playing through contact. Let us keep our pick, pay him what he’s earned.

  3. Aaron Coner
    April 19, 2017 | 10:54 pm

    If Draymon replaced PG on the Pacers they’d have even less shot making. But Paul could easily go to GSW and focus on defense. Draymon could never lead a team to wins by himself. U make the argument kawhi is amazing bcuz he wins 61 w no other all stars. But Draymon is better than PG and dray has 3 other all stars. Pacers have some good players, not suggesting PG is the best SF just that his ability to rebound and defend and stretch the floor and make tough shots is more valuable than anything Draymon does. GSW loses Draymon THIS year nothing happens. Not to mention Pacers earned right to play Celtics. Down the stretch pg put team on his back and won enough games, got them 7th seed that butler failed to get even WITH tie breaker and vs inferior teams. Paul clowned Giannis in a game Milwaukee needed for seeding, Pacers earned the right to dodge the champs….but Butler still gets to look good going up against the worst 1 seed in NBA history while Paul gets stuck w the Cavs. NBA intended this. We work hard in Indy. We aren’t a rich city. But we deserve to keep the players we drafted especially when they’ve earned a pay day. Who would want to stay when NBA switches around seeds to out you, and gives u 0 calls….without a bonus.

  4. Aaron Coner
    April 19, 2017 | 11:15 pm

    Bottom line, you can’t give the 4th best player on Golden state who shoots poorly and averages 10 ppg all NBA over Paul George, we all know who’s better. Wouldn’t be fair to Pacers fan base. He broke his leg and hasn’t had a summer to practice since returning at full health bcuz he went with the US to a poor country to help their economy and represent his country, even after a career altering injury…..gotta give him a spot. He was playing for his country while kawhi, the good guy, was watching tape on how to draw fouls. Give this man a spot. Its close yes, but he’s earned it. Pacers have made playoffs 22 of 30 years, most of any team I believe, with 0 rings, no tanking, No first picks, its basketball country….we deserve it.

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