The team is currently $1.7 million under that threshold. Indiana is expected to apply for a disabled player exception for next season in the wake of forward Paul George's season-ending injury, which would give the Pacers an extra $5.3 million to make additions to its roster. But Bird insisted the team won't go into the tax, meaning it may not use all of that exception.
Earlier Tuesday, it was reported the Pacers were interested in free agent forward Shawn Marion. Bird confirmed that he met with Marion to try and convince him to sign with Indiana. The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly the front-runner to sign Marion, but as they are restricted to offering him a minimum $1.4 million salary, the Pacers could out-bid Cleveland and still stay under the tax.
- Ben Estes