The Indiana Pacers have reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers about a trade for Paul George, according to recent reports. George is expected to opt out of his contract with the Pacers after the 2017 season and enter free agency.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe indicates Indiana wants to “move fast” on the deal for George. Sam Amico echoed the reports from Lowe and said Indiana wants a trade complete by the draft. He added it is “more than a passing discussion” in trade talks for these two teams.
Cleveland could offer championship-caliber play, which could help sway his decision to re-sign with the team once his contract elapses at the end of next season.
Adrian Wojnarowski wrote about why trading George to Cleveland may not be the most viable option (via Yahoo Sports):
[The Pacers have] discussed deals with several teams – including Cleveland – in which the expectation of teams would be that George is a “one-year rental.” The Cavaliers are devoid of the kind of young players and future picks that Indiana might want in return for George, and George has never mentioned the Cavaliers as an intriguing destination.
If momentum begins to pick up for Cleveland and Indiana, it seems L.A. would likely step into the conversation as well. But as of now, the Lakers do not seem keen on trading their young assets for someone likely to sign with them as a free agent.
The Cavaliers may not care about whether or not they can keep George for a long-term deal. But it would not make sense to send one of their top players in Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love to Indiana without assurance George is there to stay.