Bird: No new contract yet for George
by Michael Pointer, USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird said the team has not yet reached an agreement on a contract extension with All-Star forward Paul George but hinted that it was close.
“That’s why I’m not playing golf today,” Bird said during an appearance prior to the Pacers Foundation golf outing at Brickyard Crossing. “I’m going back to the office to work on it.”
Yahoo Sports reported late Sunday night that George and the team are finalizing a five-year, $90 million contract and it likely will be announced this week. George told The Indianapolis Star last week he plans to sign a contract sometime before the season opener on Oct. 29.
The Pacers open training camp Saturday. Bird said he had not seen the report and declined to comment on it. When asked if the length and financial figures were correct, he replied, “Never heard that. If I did, I wish it was my number.”
George’s contract expires after this season and the Pacers would be able to match any offer he receives as a restricted free agent. Bird hopes the security of getting a long-term deal out of the way appeals to George and they can agree to an extension soon.
“The number has to be a number we both like,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about money. He wants to be here. He’s told me that a million times. We want him here. Let’s just find a number that works for both.”
Michael Pointer writes for The Indianapolis Star.