Austin Croshere summed up his contract best, calling it "Monopoly money."
In Croshere's case, he's got 51 million reasons why Indianapolis is staring to look like the corner of Boardwalk and Park Place.
In teammate Jalen Rose's case, he's got 93 million reasons to agree.
The Pacers threw a ton of money at two of their best young players Wednesday, signing Rose and Croshere to seven-year contracts worth a combined $144 million.
Still unsigned are Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson and Rik Smits, who all must be wondering why they couldn't have had the good fortune of being born a few years later.
The money for good, young NBA talent continued to be doled out in bushels Wednesday, and not only in Indiana.
Tim Duncan got the maximum allowable amount from the Spurs, taking a three-year deal worth $32.6 million with an option for a fourth year that would make the contract worth $45.9 million.
Cuttino Mobley, coveted by the Toronto Raptors, instead decided to stay with the Houston Rockets for a six-year, $31 million deal.
Rashard Lewis, who left high school three years ago, stayed with the Sonics for $13.3 million for three years.
Even Randy Brown got rich again, agreeing to terms with the Boston Celtics on a three-year, $7.5 million deal, according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein.
"It's a very surreal moment," said Croshere, a reserve for the first two years of his three-year NBA career. "I don't think it's sunk in. Throughout the negotiations, hearing the numbers thrown out, it's kind of like Monopoly money at that point."
None of the day's transactions was as important to a franchise as Duncan staying with the Spurs.
Duncan was wooed by the Orlando Magic and came close to accepting their offer, only to be swayed toward staying when teammate David Robinson flew back to San Antonio from Hawaii last month to make a last-ditch appeal to Duncan.
Duncan could have signed for as many as seven years, but instead chose to take a shorter deal with an eye toward getting a contract worth well in excess of $100 million the next time he becomes a free agent.
Trade talk continued to swirl around the league as teams tried to maneuver within the confines of the salary cap. The Magic's signings of Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady were being held up as Detroit and Orlando -- and Toronto and Orlando -- explored whether it would be mutually beneficial to execute sign-and-trade deals rather than simply signing the other teams' free agents.
Hill has already verbally committed to Orlando, while two members of the Magic -- Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace -- have committed to Detroit. If the Magic and Pistons find a way to swap Hill for Atkins and Wallace -- with an additional player or two thrown in, Orlando could clear enough additional salary cap room to sign free-agent forward Maurice Taylor of the Los Angeles Clippers.
A sign-and-trade deal also would allow Hill and McGrady to get annual raises of 12.5 percent rather than 10 percent. The same would be true for McGrady, although it was unclear whether Orlando and Toronto were pursuing a sign-and-trade deal with the same zeal as the Pistons and Magic were.
Other trade talk centered around the Lakers' need for a power forward. Los Angeles was reportedly trying to acquire P.J. Brown from Charlotte in a sign-and-trade deal for Glen Rice, with a possible fallback deal sending Rice to Miami for Anthony Mason.
Portland forward Brian Grant spent the day trying to decide whether he'd like to play in Cleveland. The Cavs and Trail Blazers have discussed a sign-and-trade deal of Grant for Shawn Kemp, but Grant would prefer to be dealt to the New York Knicks.
Grant, who opted out of the final four years and $41 million of his contract in Portland, met with Cavaliers officials on Tuesday and listened to their pitch.
"He hasn't made a decision yet. We're hopeful he'll make one in the next couple of days," Bartelstein said.
Popovich said the Spurs were close to signing Clippers free-agent guard Derek Anderson.
Anderson would move into San Antonio's starting lineup in place of Mario Elie, strengthening the weakest spot in the Spurs' lineup.
Rose was voted the league's most improved player last season after moving into the starting lineup at small forward and displacing Reggie Miller as the team's leading scorer, averaging 18.2 points.
"My head and heart the entire time was to be an Indiana Pacer," said Rose, who didn't even consider an offer from another team. "I said from the beginning that I was going to continue to remain an Indiana Pacer and try to do what I could to help this team and city win a championship."
Croshere emerged as a star after he replaced veteran Chris Mullin in Indiana's starting lineup. He averaged 20.8 points during the playoffs, with a career-high 40 against Philadelphia.
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