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Indiana Pacers news gathered from around the net.

Execs Anticipate Lance Stephenson Receiving $7M-9M Annually On Open Market

Lance Stephenson will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and his value to the Indiana Pacers continues to increase.

The Pacers will have Paul George on the first year of his extension, along with big deals for Roy Hibbert, David West and George Hill, which will make signing Stephenson problematic even with Danny Granger's deal expiring.

Rival executives anticipate Stephenson receiving offers in the $7 million to $9 million range per season in the open market.

Via Chris Mannix/Sports Illustrated

Pacers Assign Solomon Hill To D-League

The Indiana Pacers have assigned rookie Solomon Hill to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League.

This marks Hill’s first D-League assignment.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Bird Believes Granger Doesn't Work Hard Enough In Offseason

Danny Granger has fallen out of the plans of the Indiana Pacers while he's been out due to injury as the team has become a title contender without him.

Granger is earning $14 million in the expiring season of his contract.

"It's really important for me to remain a Pacer," Granger said Saturday. "I feel like I've been a big part of the building, gone through a lot of the bad years and now the good. I'd love to stay, but I understand the business of basketball and I understand that I might be a trade commodity."

"I've talked to Danny, talked to his agent; I'm not looking to trade him," team President Larry Bird said Saturday. "But you never know. If the right thing came along that would help the franchise, I would have to look at it, but I'm not out there looking at deals."

Bird questions whether Granger's work ethic will allow him to become his former self.

"He doesn't work hard enough (in the offseason)," Bird said. "He's not a guy who'll push himself to the brink like a lot of our guys do. He works hard but he doesn't push himself. That's why he starts slow every year and he just works his way back. Now this year, he's been hurt, so it's a different deal."

Bird believes Granger can become the Pacers' x-factor late in the season and into the playoffs.

"You know how I feel about Danny," Bird said. "He brings so much more to our team than people realize. Watching the game Friday night, our team finally looked complete. Just his toughness, his ability to shoot the ball from the outside. What we're going to need is for him to defend. It all boils down to how he defends, and that'll determine how many minutes he gets."

Via Bob Kravitz/Indianapolis Star

Danny Granger Expected To Receive 15-20 Minutes In Season Debut Friday

Danny Granger will make his season debut for the Indiana Pacers on Friday against the Houston Rockets.

Frank Vogel expects Granger to receive 15 to 20 minutes in his return from a calf injury.

"There's no way to simulate game intensity," Vogel told reporters on Thursday. "There's going to be an adjustment period while he gets used to that."

Granger missed a large portion of last season due to injuries.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Paul George: I Want To Go Down As My Own Icon

Paul George was named the NBA's Most Improved Player last season and he could conceivably win the award again this year given his significant improvement on offense.

“I have goals,” George said. “I want to be MVP. I want to be Defensive Player of the Year. I want to be First-Team All-NBA. I want to be a Gold medalist. I want to be a Hall of Famer. I want to be a Champion. Everything that’s the highest or the greatest that you can do, I want to do that.”

George expounded on those thoughts about 10 minutes later in the interview with Slam.

“At the end of the day, I want to go down as my own icon, a Paul George, do-everything offensively and defensively type of player. There are a lot of characteristics I have that LeBron does, that T-Mac does, but I want to be my own person and be someone special.”

George signed an extension with the Indiana Pacers in the offseason.

“I’ve got to be a better floor general, and I’ve got to get better at being consistent,” he says. “I took strides in my consistency, but if I want to get where I want to get to, I need to continue being a consistent basketball player. I feel like I can be in the category of LeBron, as far as being a walking triple-double guy.”

Via Tzvi Twersky/Slam

Bird: Pacers Will Offer Stephenson 'Very Fair' Deal, Perfect Environment

Larry Bird discussed the future of Lance Stephenson and the Indiana Pacers' lead front office executive made it clear that the organization offers the best situation for the guard and still fully plans to re-sign him as a free agent in the offseason.

"If Lance isn't here, we'll plug somebody else in," Bird said. "Obviously I think this is the best situation for Lance. I worry about if Lance leaves here. This environment is absolutely perfect for him. Players know his little games. Lance is always energetic. He's always at another level. He likes to mess around in practice. Guys understand that here. It's not a bad thing, he's just energetic.

"He wants to go 100 miles an hour every time. Lance falls on the court and acts like he's been shot. Guys will walk by and tell him to get up. So this is the best environment for Lance.

"I don't know what's going to happen this summer. We want to keep him and he wants to be here. This is the best environment for him. We will make him a great offer, an offer that I think is very fair. If you look at our books, how does anyone know what's going to happen in the summer. How do they know we're not going to make trades or have more money or less money. We will try to sign Lance, but I don't worry about it. If Lance is not here, we'll get somebody else."

Via Mark Montieth/Pacers.com

Danny Granger Aiming To Return Friday

Danny Granger is hoping to return to the Indiana Pacers' lineup on Friday against the Charlotte Bobcats.

"There's a good chance. A very good chance," Granger said. "I'm working on it everyday.

"I'll have a minutes limit, strictly because I have to play my way into shape. We don't have enough practice for me to practice my way into shape. It's literally going to be in games where I am playing where I get in shape."

Granger has missed every game this season due to a calf injury.

"Right now I'm getting back in shape," Granger said. "My shot feels great."

Via Candace Buckner/Indianapolis Star

Danny Granger Feels 'Really Good' In Return To Pacers' Practice

Danny Granger returned to the Indiana Pacers' practice on Friday -- his first live participation in weeks after suffering a calf injury.

“I feel good,” Granger said. “I was running, sprinting, playing live for about an hour, so I felt really good.”

“(The Pacers’ trainers are) kind of holding me back and I think they know best. If it was up to me, I’d be playing, but like I said, they know best. That’s just me talking from my competitive side. I practiced today, so obviously I’m not far away.”

Over the past week, Granger has picked up his activity with on-court jogging and “increased intensity shooting,” which Frank Vogel described as sprinting to spots on the floor, then shooting.

“It was his first action back,” Vogel said. “He’s a ways away, though.”

Via Candace Buckner/Indianapolis Star

Pacers' Home Telecasts Reach 113 Percent Increase

The Indiana Pacers' home telecasts have increased by 113 percent from a season ago, the team announced on Wednesday.

The Pacers broadcast their games on Fox Sports Indiana.

Overall, the Pacers’ local television ratings rank fourth in the NBA, up from 13th at the end of last season.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Paul George, Kevin Durant Named NBA Players Of Month

Paul George and Kevin Durant have been awarded the NBA's Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month for gamed played in October and November.

George posted averages of 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists as the Indiana Pacers went 15-1 through November.

Durant averaged 28 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists as the Oklahoma City had a 11-3 record.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Indiana Pacers Archives

Frank Vogel, Terry Stotts Awarded NBA Coaches Of Month

Frank Vogel guided the Pacers to a 15-1 record in November, the best mark in the NBA.
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