Indiana Pacers

NBA Notes: Isaiah Thomas says being traded by Celtics 'still hurts'

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NBA Notes: Isaiah Thomas says being traded by Celtics 'still hurts'

BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas' two sons had different reactions to his trade from the Celtics to the Cavaliers.

His older son, James, is excited that his dad will get to play alongside LeBron James. Thomas' younger son, Jaiden, had fallen in love with Boston and was afraid that Cleveland won't have any skate parks.

Thomas said in a 3,500-word post on The Players Tribune that he himself was also of two minds about the deal that sent him to the Cavaliers, along with two other players and a first-round draft pick, for fellow All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

He says hearing about the trade in a call from Celtics boss Danny Ainge "still hurts." But he's also excited about playing with James, a four-time MVP, and Kevin Love, a former AAU teammate . Thomas says he won't have to worry about being double- or triple-teamed any more.

Says Thomas: "You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs this year" (see full story).

Pacers: Owner denies report about possibly suing Lakers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon is denying a report that the team might sue the Los Angeles Lakers for tampering with Paul George.

The NBA fined the Lakers $500,000 last week for violating league rules and there was a report that the Pacers were considering legal action, too.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Simon said the Pacers agreed with the league's decision and that the team simply wanted to move on.

Indiana traded George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis after George's camp let it be known that the four-time All-Star intended to sign as a free agent with the Lakers in July 2018.

Simon acknowledged those sentiments put Indiana "in a tough position" but the Pacers acquired two good players.

Hawks: Team signs 3 players to contracts
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed guards Quinn Cook and Josh Maggette and forward Tyler Cavanaugh.

Cook, from Duke, played five games with Dallas and nine games with New Orleans as a rookie last season. He averaged 5.6 points and 1.9 assists.

Cook is a two-time All-Star in the NBA G League. He was the 2016 G League Rookie of the Year.

Magette signed a two-way contract that will allow him to primarily play for the team's NBA G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, while also spending up to 45 days with Atlanta.

Magette spent time during the 2016 preseason with the Hawks and was part of the team's summer league roster this year.

Cavanaugh also played for Atlanta's summer league team this season.

Cavaliers: Plans for $140M arena makeover renewed
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are reviving a $140 million renovation of Quicken Loans Arena just over a week after the project was scrapped.

The team announced Wednesday it'll also extend its lease at the facility for seven extra years, until 2034.

The Cavaliers, who won the 2016 NBA title, hoped to upgrade the 22-year-old downtown arena with more dining spaces and a glass exterior but had faced opposition from community groups objecting to the use of taxpayer money.

The Cavaliers canceled the renovation on Aug. 28 after a referendum petition submitted by the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a religious coalition, gained more than 13,000 valid signatures and threatened to delay the project.

But the coalition withdrew the petition after county officials cut a deal and promised to look into constructing two mental health and substance abuse clinics, allowing renovation plans to move forward again. The Cavaliers will fund half the project as previously planned, while the other half will come from public funding.

Other groups opposed to the project say they weren't consulted before the petition was withdrawn.

"This isn't what the majority of Cleveland citizens wanted," said Steve Holecko, of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, which has been leading the fight to stop the renovation. "This is corporate welfare at its worst" (see full story).

NBA Notes: Lakers fined $500K for tampering involving Paul George

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NBA Notes: Lakers fined $500K for tampering involving Paul George

NEW YORK -- New Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka's contact with Paul George's agent violated the NBA's anti-tampering rule and resulted in a $500,000 fine for Los Angeles on Thursday.

The league said a law firm's independent investigation didn't find evidence of an agreement or an understanding that the Lakers would sign or acquire George, who was with the Indiana Pacers at the time. George later was traded to Oklahoma City.

"We respect and accept the NBA's decision regarding this matter," Pelinka said in a statement. "On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA."

The league had warned the Lakers about tampering following comments by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson about George on national TV on April 20.

The league said Pelinka's contact with George's agent "constituted a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract" (see full story).

Cavaliers: Irving doesn’t mention LeBron in Cleveland goodbye
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving did not mention LeBron James, now his former teammate, while thanking Cleveland fans after his trade to Boston was finalized.

Irving, who is now officially a member of the Celtics after the teams completed a blockbuster deal that had stalled, posted a lengthy thank-you note and video on his Instagram account Thursday. While somewhat vague about his intentions, the All-Star guard explained some the reasons that led to him requesting the Cavaliers trade him following six seasons -- and three straight trips to the NBA Finals.

In a meeting last month with Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, Irving said he wanted out.

"You understand the magnitude of decisions that you make in your life can affect a lot of people all at once," Irving said in the more than 4-minute video . "And when you get to that point and you understand that the best intentions for you and ultimately to be in your truth, and find out what you really want to do in your life and how you want to accomplish it -- that moment comes and you take full advantage of it.

"And there are no other ulterior reasons other than being happy and to be somewhere you feel like it's an environment that's conducive for you maximizing your potential" (see full story).

Bulls: Payne to have surgery on broken right foot
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls say guard Cameron Payne will have surgery next week for a broken right foot.

Payne fractured the fifth metatarsal during a workout July 18. The team says six weeks of rest in a boot was prescribed, but a subsequent scan and examination this week revealed the foot has not healed "satisfactorily." Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.

Payne also broke his right foot during the 2015-16 season with Oklahoma City.

Payne was acquired in the February trade that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to the Thunder. He struggled for Chicago, averaging 4.9 points in 11 games.

Kings: Randolph faces misdemeanor marijuana charge
LOS ANGELES -- Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph has been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and resisting arrest following an incident this month when a large gathering became unruly at a Los Angeles housing project, prosecutors said Thursday.

The two-time NBA All-Star had initially been arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell -- a felony -- but Los Angeles city prosecutors instead charged Randolph with misdemeanor drug possession.

Court documents say the 36-year-old Randolph possessed "more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis or both." Randolph also is accused of resisting arrest and obstructing a Los Angeles police officer in the discharge of their duties.

Randolph is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom on Sept. 14, said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office, which is prosecuting the case.

Cavaliers: Gilbert vows to never move team from Cleveland
CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert vowed Thursday to "never" move his NBA team from Cleveland.

Earlier this week, when Gilbert scrapped plans for a $140 million renovation to Quicken Loans Arena that could now be back on, his move led to speculation the owner might leave the city when his lease expires in 2027.

"CLE, Let's put any silly rumors to rest: I will never move the Cleveland Cavaliers out of Cleveland," Gilbert wrote on Twitter . "Period. And that's unconditional."

As part of the project, the team would extend its lease to 2034. The Cavs were going to split the cost of the arena's makeover with public financing, but a local coalition opposed to using tax dollars for the remodeling was able to force a city referendum vote and Gilbert pulled out.

However, on Thursday, Greater Cleveland Congregations withdrew petitions challenging the arena deal.

The Cavaliers are still hoping to host a future All-Star game if an agreement can be reached on the project.

NBA Notes: Manu Ginobili returning to Spurs for 16th season

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NBA Notes: Manu Ginobili returning to Spurs for 16th season

SAN ANTONIO -- Manu Ginobili is returning for his 16th season with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs re-signed the 40-year-old Argentine guard Thursday. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Ginobili will become the eighth player in NBA history to spend his entire career with one team and play at least 16 seasons, joining Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, John Stockton, Reggie Miller and John Havlicek.

Ginobili averaged 7.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 69 games last season, In 992 career regular-season games, he has averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds. In 213 playoff games, the four-time NBA champion has averaged 14.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Ginobili led Argentina to the 2004 Olympic title. He and Bill Bradley are the only players win an NBA and Euroleague titles and an Olympic gold medal.

Pacers: Team hopes new facility becomes selling point
INDIANAPOLIS -- Kevin Pritchard has a new sales pitch as the Indiana Pacers jump into the NBA's version of an arms race.

On Thursday, the team's president of basketball operations, players and other officials celebrated the opening of the St. Vincent Center, a five-story, state-of-the-art practice facility that is putting the health, training and comfort of players first.

"Indiana is not a small market, Indiana is not a big market, Indiana is good market and this matches that," Pritchard said. "We want players walking in here and thinking about how they can be their best and we want our coaches knowing they can do their best."

Everything inside the 130,000-square foot facility is intended to put players front and center -- from the offices where Pritchard and coach Nate McMillan can watch both courts to the circular locker room to the medical and nutritional facilities upstairs. The top floor has an 18,000-square foot sports performance center. The hydrotherapy room includes a big screen TV. The team meeting room has and the player's lounge both have customized oversized chairs.

The biggest difference might be that the Pacers will now have two full-sized practice courts overlooking Bankers Life Fieldhouse that are devoted exclusively to the NBA franchise. Previously, the team shared one practice court with the WNBA's Indiana Fever and that court also was used for community events (see full story).

NBA: G-League eliminates 4-game, 5-day stretches
NEW YORK -- Schedule changes have also come to the NBA G League.

Much like their NBA counterparts, G League players will no longer endure stretches of four games in five nights. Eliminating that for the first time was a key component of this season's NBA schedule, and it's now gone from the G League schedules as well.

The average number of back-to-backs also dropped in the G League, from nearly nine per team last year to seven this season.

"Much like the NBA, we had a strong focus on making our schedule more in line with our ongoing goals of player health and wellness," G League President Malcolm Turner said. "The NBA G League has always been a place for players to develop their skills and display their talents. These schedule adjustments will help up-and-coming NBA players perform to the best of their abilities."

There's four expansion teams in the newly rebranded G League, which has a record 26 franchises after adding the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (affiliated with the Los Angeles Clippers), Erie BayHawks (Atlanta), Memphis Hustle (Memphis) and Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee).

Teams in the G League play 50 regular-season games, starting Nov. 3 and going through March 24. In previous years, the league was known as the NBA Development League.