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Pacers want to get a long-term extension done with Domantas Sabonis

Pacers, Domantas Sabonis

Indiana Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis has become an increasingly important piece of his team. The 23-year-old enjoyed a fine 2018-19 campaign, and as a result, the Pacers are interested in offering him a long-term contract extension.

According to a report from Charlie Clifford of WISH-TV in Indianapolis, the Pacers have been in contact with Sabonis’ agent throughout this year’s free agency. Now that Indiana has conducted its outside business, his extension is “a top priority” for the franchise:

Sabonis is deserving of this sort of commitment. He made 74 appearances with the Pacers last regular season (five starts), racking up averages of 14.1 points on 59.0 percent shooting from the field (52.9 percent from beyond the arc), 9.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 24.8 minutes per outing.

The Pacers picked up Sabonis’ team option in September 2018. The Lithuanian-American is slated to earn roughly $3.5 million for the 2019-20 season before restricted free agency in 2020, though an extension would take him off the market.

Indiana finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 48-34 overall record, which earned the team a No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Unfortunately, though, the Pacers were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round.

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan has a new plan for the coming season, though. Sabonis played off the bench last season. This season, however, McMillan wants to start Sabonis alongside Myles Turner:

Turner and Sabonis should make for a terrific starting frontcourt.