Pacers prepare for Summer League as Paul George trade winds blow

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Less than a week after the NBA draft, the Indiana Pacers are not only trying to trade star Paul George, but also prepare for the Summer League.

Rumors continue to swirl over the future of George, the latest sending him to Boston for a 2018 top draft pick and players if the Celtics can also entice free agent and Brownsburg native Gordon Hayward to sign with them.

Free agency officially begins Saturday. Coach Nate McMillan welcomed a 14-man roster to Bankers Life for summer league practice, with action tipping off in Orlando Saturday as well.

That roster includes current Pacers Rakeem Christmas, Georges Niang and Joe Young as well as top draft pick T.J. Leaf from UCLA.

“It’s really exciting to put the jersey on,” said Leaf, a 6-10 forward. “It’s been a whirlwind since the draft last week, and I’m living out of a suitcase, but I can’t wait to show what I can do.”

Leaf will not share time with the Pacers other draft picks, 6-10 forward Ike Anigbogu or Xavier guard Edmond Sumner because of injuries. Anigbogu tweaked a knee, but says he will be ready for training camp, while Sumner has a knee and shoulder issue. Leaf thinks Pacer fans will be thrilled when his Bruin teammate suits up.

“Ike is a dunking specimen. He’s great at guarding the basket while bringing the energy.” As for his own game? He thinks he’s got a good opportunity with the team’s style to prove himself. “Any game, any opportunity to get out there, you have to take it.  This opportunity is the first time to show the fans, the coaches and your teammates what you can do, not necessarily to score a lot, but how you handle yourself on and off the court  and just make sure you and your teammates get along,” he said.

Indiana opens play against the Magic in summer league play Saturday afternoon at one o’clock.