So much for those “Paul George to the Lakers rumors” that Paul George didn’t exactly dispel back in July. Expected to be signed at some point this week, the ultra-talented swingman will soon be paid like the face of the franchise with a five-year extension totaling $90M.
Contracts are awarded largely on the premise of results, but more so potential (and importance). So it’s obvious the Pacers were pleased enough with Paul’s third season which saw him increase his points per game average five points and both rebounds and assists by two. George also stands as one of the league’s better defenders, so the facets of his and why Indy was so hellbent on keeping him around are understandable.
There’s always the issue of improving shot selection and efficiency (41% FG in 2012-2013), but Indy feels as if they’re eye-level with Miami in terms of talent – loading up on depth in the offseason with Luis Scola, Chris Coleman – and locking up George, after doing so with David West this summer, was a means to enter the season with no distractions.
What’ll be interesting, however, is if the Pacers backload the contract. Nevertheless, now no longer impressing off solely what potential could blossom into, the expectations around George increase dramatically to quickly prove he’s worth being one of the higher paid players in the league on a squad with bonafide championship visions. Perhaps not the fairest stipulation in the world to place on a 23-year-old’s shoulders, but consider those the breaks when inking your name on a contract that’s about to pay you on average of $18M a year.