Paul George not voted All-NBA, ineligible for Designated Player Extension

Paul George was presented his 2017 All-Star jersey by then team president Larry Bird. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

Finally, we have one answer.

Paul George was not among the six forwards voted to the league’s annual first, second, and third team All-NBA honors. The voting was completed more than a month ago, in mid-April, at the end of the regular season. The 100 voters consisted of both local and national reporters who regularly cover the league.

  • LeBron James (First Team)
  • Kawhi Leonard (First)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Second)
  • Kevin Durant (Second)
  • Draymond Green (Third)
  • Jimmy Butler (Third)

George received 40 points. Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, the sixth and final forward voted on, garnered 102 points.

Since George, 27, was not voted on these All-NBA teams, he is not eligible to sign the Designated Veteran Player Extension with the Pacers in July. It would had been worth $207 million over five years.

George has been voted Third Team All-NBA three times before — in 2013, 2014, and 2016.

“Paul is going to do what Paul wants to do,” outgoing Pacers President Larry Bird said earlier this month. “He’s going to make a decision that he thinks benefits him the best and that’s the way all players do it.”

This also impacted Brownsburg High School and Butler University product Gordon Hayward. The first-time All-Star also came up short in the voting with just 27 points.

PG had an outstanding finish to the season. From March through the end of their postseason run, losing in four games to the Cleveland Cavaliers, George played like the top ten player that he is. Voters, though, had to evaluate him (and others) on his full body of work throughout the 2016-17 season.

He was an All-Star for the fourth time. He led the Pacers in scoring yet again at 23.7 points per game, an average of 8.4 points per game higher than their second-leading scorer, Jeff Teague (15.3).

“We’re comfortable with Paul,” coach Nate McMillan told VigilantSports.com on Thursday, hours before the teams were made public. “Whether they list him as an All-Pro [or not], he’s an All-Pro for us. A great player. Whatever happens, we’ll work with that.”

Inconsistency was the theme of the Pacers’ season, and George’s as well … until the final seven weeks. Still, his points per game average (23.7) was a career high, as was his field goal percentage 46.1. He was asked to do a lot, and shoulder the load more than anyone. And that was a challenge.

[Paul George’s full comments on the Pacers’ inconsistent 2016-17 season]

Now this doesn’t automatically mean that George’s time in Indy is almost up. The team listened to trade offers for him before the trade deadline, but ultimately did that with the intention of understanding his market.

The Pacers own his Bird Rights so they can offer him more guaranteed money than any other team, but it’s not significant. If he had made an All-NBA team, he would have had the opportunity to earn upwards of $75 million more by staying in Indy.

George is under contract for the next two seasons, but he is expected to decline a player option for the 2018-19 season. It would be incredibly too risky, but the Pacers could wait until next summer on George, who would qualify for the super-max extension if he was voted to an All-NBA team after the 2017-18 season.

The next step for Kevin Pritchard, who was promoted to President, is to talk with George’s agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA, to gain a firm understanding of George’s goals and intentions.

Pritchard spoke with George for more than 45 minutes during their exit interview last month. “The message was he wants to win, the Pacers want to win, we’re on the same page,” he said.

[Jimmy Kimmel pushes Lakers numerous times during PG’s appearance on his show]

One Response to Paul George not voted All-NBA, ineligible for Designated Player Extension
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