Larry Bird Says Pacers to Match Any Offer for Paul George

by July 19, 2013

It doesn’t matter if Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers come knocking next summer — the Indiana Pacers aren’t letting Paul George go. Larry Bird states the obvious: the team will match any offer for the restricted free agent. Per 1070 The Fan (via PBT): “We’re trying to sign Paul,’ Larry Bird said. ‘It’s not as easy as it looks. We’re going to make a major offer to him. It’s going to be up to him whether he accept or not or goes out into the free-agency market. If he does, we’re going to match. But we’d like to get something done. We know he wants to be here. He’s a great kid. He’s one of the nicest young men you’ll ever meet, and he’s a good player. And we think we should take care of him.’ The Pacers could extend George’s contract before Oct. 31, and that would allow them to sign him for five additional years. If George makes an All-NBA first, second or third team this season, he’d even be eligible for a larger extension. Because Indiana and George won’t know whether that will happen before Oct. 31, they can negotiate contingencies in the event it does. In short, if the Pacers are serious about paying George, they could offer him more guaranteed money before the season begins than any other team could offer next summer. If George becomes a free agent in 2014, the Pacers can match any offer he’ll receive.”