The Indiana Pacers made their first significant move of this offseason on Monday when they decided to decline their team option on Lance Stephenson’s contract for next season, saving them $4.3 million in cap space as they enter a pivotal summer.
Indiana now has approximately $12 million in cap room and can easily create more thanks to a trio of non-guaranteed salaries that would allow them to clear another $23 million if needed. This is the business of basketball, and not exactly the prettiest side of it as players and their families get uprooted as teams jockey for cap space and other free agents.
Paul George is among the top free agents this summer and he’ll make his decision at some point in July, but even after a year in Oklahoma City, George is still not pleased with how his exit from Indiana was made to seem like a selfish decision. George was kind enough to let the Pacers know he wasn’t going to re-sign in free agency so it allowed them to recoup assets for him in the form of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
However, George went from a beloved figure to a reviled one among Pacers fans and after they let Stephenson go on Monday, he decided to take the opportunity to point out what he believes to be a hypocrisy when it comes to how it’s perceived when a team makes a business decision compared to a player.