The Indiana Pacers and Nate McMillan are reportedly putting the finishing touches on a contract extension for the head coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
McMillan had one guaranteed year left on his deal. Pacers won 48 games, earned 5th seed in East and took Cavs to seven games in first-round series.
Wojnarowski added that the extension will keep McMillan under contract through the 2020-21 season.
Buoyed by Victor Oladipo’s emergence as a star and a deep roster behind him, the Pacers exceeded expectations in the 2017-18 season, reaching the postseason and arguably coming out as winners of the Paul George trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Under McMillan, the Pacers went 42-40 in 2016-17 before improving by six games last year. Indiana is McMillan’s third head-coaching stint—he was the head honcho of the Seattle Supersonics from 2000-05 (212-183) and of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2005-12 (266-269).
While expectations were tempered for Indiana coming into last season, they’ll be much higher in 2018-19, especially after the Pacers nearly eliminated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round last season, taking them to seven games.
With James now in Los Angeles, the Eastern Conference is wide open. The Boston Celtics are the favorites, with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returning from injuries, though the addition of Kawhi Leonard has made the Toronto Raptors a very real threat. Add in the young talent of the Philadelphia 76ers, and the top of the Eastern Conference is no joke.
The Pacers should fit into the next tier of teams right after the top three, however, and will jockey for position in the standings with teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards.
Under McMillan, the Pacers showed major growth a season ago. This year, 50 wins and a top-four seed will be the expectation.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report