Hell-bent as he is on signing with the Lakers, George – according to a person with knowledge of his situation – is also the kind of prudent professional who won’t close a window of opportunity prematurely. So if the Cavs can convince Pritchard to either take on four-time All-Star forward Kevin Love or send him to a third team in exchange for more suitable assets, then George will play his heart out alongside LeBron James and remain open to the idea of re-signing next summer if James were also to return (or, perhaps, George could leave for Los Angeles with James at his side).
More Rumors in this Storyline
One of the Cavaliers’ plans to pry Paul George away from the Indiana Pacers was to trade Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets, sources confirmed to cleveland.com. As first reported by ESPN, the Cavs engaged the Nuggets as a possible third team to facilitate a trade for the All-Star George on draft night, but a source said the discussion was “nothing serious” and “very unlikely” to happen now.
Sources told ESPN that the Cavaliers engaged in serious three-way trade discussions leading up to the NBA draft on a deal that would have brought them George from the Indiana Pacers and landed Kevin Love, George’s fellow Eastern Conference All-Star, with the Denver Nuggets.
The three teams ultimately could not agree to a final trade construction in time to complete a deal on draft night Thursday, but sources say the Cavaliers won’t abandon their trade pursuit of George.
Joe Vardon: I can confirm the Cavs did hold discussions to send Love to DEN and get PG from Indiana, on draft night. Source says “nothing serious”
Marc Stein: Reporting with @chrisbhaynes: League sources say Cleveland continues to pursue a Paul George trade, with Denver as the potential third team
I’m told the Indiana Pacers don’t want Kevin Love, at least not right now. Their goal is young players and draft picks. They definitely want to trade Paul George. It would be a shock if they open the season with him on the roster. Indiana knows George will leave via free agency in the summer of 2018.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin left for his successors potential trades to bring either Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or Indiana’s Paul George to the team, sources told cleveland.com, and one or more deals Griffin constructed could happen without him. In either case, a third team would be involved and would take All-Star forward Kevin Love in exchange for the mix of picks and role players the Bulls and Pacers seek to rebuild in the event they choose to deal their franchise player.
To that end, ESPN reported Tuesday that Indiana and Los Angeles were engaged in trade talks. But the Cavs are still engaging the Pacers. Butler is under contract for two more seasons with a player’s option for 2019-20. Sources believed that Gilbert and Koby Altman, who is essentially serving as the Cavs’ acting GM, could end up swinging a major trade that was first cooked up in Griffin’s final hours on the job.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin left for his successors potential trades to bring either Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or Indiana’s Paul George to the team, sources told cleveland.com, and one or more deals Griffin constructed could happen without him.
In either case, a third team would be involved and would take All-Star forward Kevin Love in exchange for the mix of picks and role players the Bulls and Pacers seek to rebuild in the event they choose to deal their franchise player.
Among the options Griffin presented to owner Dan Gilbert and front office personnel still in Cleveland involved Phoenix, which owns the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.
One league source told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, meanwhile, that the Cavaliers have already been offered George in a multi-team trade scenario that would cost them Love and involve an unnamed third team.
Kevin O’Connor: Two NBA sources expect Lakers to parachute into Paul George talks if the Cavs are closing in on a deal. Unclear if #2 would be on the table.
Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has been making obligatory calls around the league, and the Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers have chatted about George, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt.
Pacers began shopping George’s services this weekend, including a phone call to the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, multiple sources confirmed to ESPN on Sunday.
The Cavs are willing to enter into trade talks for George without any assurances he will commit to a long-term deal in Cleveland, a source familiar with the Cavs thinking told ESPN.
To part with either the 25-year-old Irving or the 28-year-old Love, both coming off All-Star seasons and on relatively economical long-term deals, without any verbal commitment from George that he planned to stay in Cleveland beyond 2018 would be “hard” to agree to, one source familiar with the Cavs’ thinking told ESPN.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs probably would have to find a third team to trade for Paul George. Gotta find one with the young players/draft picks to satisfy IND.
The Cavaliers have inquired about trading for Paul George, who has informed the Indiana Pacers he intends to leave as a free agent after the 2017-18 season, league sources told cleveland.com.
George’s intention to be a free agent could impact the kinds of players Indiana could get in return. For instance, the Cavs would, under the right circumstances, trade Kevin Love. But Love has two guaranteed years left on his contract. Whether the Cavs would trade him for a player who might leave after one season remains s to be seen.
It’s highly unlikely either James or George would leave Cleveland after a hypothetical championship. For that matter, a source with knowledge of James’ thinking said it’s far too early to say what gen might do next summer, but he is happy in Cleveland.
What would be the ideal option? “I’d be targeting Paul George,” said a 10-plus year NBA vet. “I don’t know the match but I’d give up anything but LBJ and Kyrie to get him. Melo [Carmelo Anthony] and D-Wade [Dwyane Wade] do not solve the problems that they have with GSW.” And who wouldn’t want the 27-year-old George, who came back from a horrific leg injury to average 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season for the Indiana Pacers?
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
June 28, 2017 | 9:23 pm EDT Update
Ramona Shelburne: There was still strong internal debate on whether the team should pay $45 million in the final year of a deal to a 37-year-old player. Big Detail: The Clippers had not yet committed to give Chris Paul the full five-year max contract of $201 million.
The New York Knicks’ focus over the next few weeks will be on free agency, and not on a replacement for departed team president Phil Jackson, league sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. General manager Steve Mills was leading the front office in talks with other teams on Wednesday, sources said.
Any discussion with Ujiri — who is facing a potential rebuild of his own should the Raptors lose free agents Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, PJ Tucker and Patrick Patterson — would first require permission and then steep compensation (such as draft picks), which league sources said was unlikely for the Knicks, given their current roster construction.