Storyline: Paul George Trade?

123 rumors in this storyline

According to a person with knowledge of George’s thinking who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation, the money doesn’t matter nearly as much to him as most might assume. Yes, there’s a gap of more than $70 million between the five-year deal the Pacers could have given George and the four-year deal he could get from other teams in free agency next summer. And yes, the possibility still exists that – if George made an All-NBA team next season – the Pacers could still give him a supermax next offseason (or, of course, run the massive risk of losing him for nothing in free agency).

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But after making it all the way back from his horrific leg break in the summer of 2014, and threatening to unseat the great LeBron James in those back-to-back Heat-Pacers conference finals, George finds himself more focused on legacy than ever. And whether it’s realistic or not, the 27-year-old who grew up idolizing Bryant in Palmdale, Calif. clearly believes he can lift the Lakers out of the darkness. The question now, it seems, is whether the Lakers will have the necessary patience and prudence on their end to make the most of their situation.

George had his own sit-down with Kimmel Monday night, and he did his best to not get himself in trouble when asked if that moment would have any affect on him moving forward. “No man. I love Magic, (he’s a) great dude,” George said, before laughing when Kimmel responded by saying that it was good he thought that because he was going to be working for him with the Lakers. “I know I’m always going to get those L.A. ties, man. I’m an L.A. kid,” George said, before joking that former Lakers star Kobe Bryant is a bigger deal in his family household than he even is.

But it would also mean the Wizards would get all of what should be Porter’s most productive seasons, along with Beal’s and Wall’s. Or, the Wizards could go all in and make their own bid for George this summer, and take a chance they could re-sign him in 2018. Would George really rather play with kids who are years away in L.A. with the Lakers, or have a real shot at beating James in the next couple of years in Boston or D.C.? “We have a competitive young team that still has a lot of room for growth, and has shown growth in the past two or three years,” Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld said. “John and Brad have been to multiple playoff rounds; this is their third time in four years we’ve been in the second round. But right now, we’re focusing on (Boston).”
3 weeks ago via SLAM

CJ opened up a bit about his desire to play with George during a conversation with Taylor Rooks this week in New York: “Paul George is the homie. He’s with Nike. I’ve had some discussions with him about the season, and what it’s like to go from… He was behind Danny Granger for a while. [Granger] gets hurt, and then he comes up and becomes a star and kinda takes over. “So just talking to him about his mindset. He would look good in red and black that’s all.

Bird, according to sources, was unwilling to trade George before the NBA’s trade deadline in February. With Bird no longer making the Pacers’ top basketball decisions, a trade to ensure the Pacers receive compensation for George could become more of a possibility this summer. If George doesn’t make one of the All-NBA teams, he could re-sign with the Pacers for approximately $180 million over five years. In either case, he can sign with another team for four years and about $130 million.

Joseph Horner‏: Same with Hayward. Interesting idea. – RT: Albert Nahmad: The power of the new designated veteran player rules will be in full display with Paul George this summer, even if he doesn’t make All-NBA. Pacers can give Paul George a DVP payout if gets All-NBA this season OR next season. By trading him, they’d lose 2nd major shot to keep him. Paul George has been an All-NBA player before. Making it again is not unrealistic. Which gives Pacers and trade partners lots to consider. Pacers need to decide whether they want to trade Paul George, who may not be able to pass up DVP money to stay if earns All-NBA next season. Even if Paul George requests a trade and says he won’t re-sign with the Pacers, he might reconsider if he has an extra $75M on the line!

Former Pacers teammate Danny Granger appeared on CBS’ “Reiter Than You” and gave his thoughts as to how things may play out over the next 12 months. “You look at him in that press conference (after losing to Cleveland) and his face and the dejection on it – the guy wants to win,” Granger said. “Money don’t make everybody happy, but winning and success and your craft, that does fill a void that a lot of these players have. So you can’t fault him if he leaves Indiana, I’ll tell you that.”

Lakers president Magic Johnson jokingly made his desire to have George in a purple and gold uniform known publicly during an interview last week with late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, laughing and winking about how he was well-versed on tampering and couldn’t recruit a player under contract with another team. And one of the league’s worst-kept secrets is that the Lakers have a strong appeal for George given their proximity to his hometown of Palmdale, Calif., and his affinity for Kobe Bryant, even though George actually grew up a fan of the Clippers.

Should the Heat be interested in acquiring Paul George from the Pacers? — Daniel, Miami. A: I don’t know if they “should be,” but I know that they will consider every and any possibilities when it comes to elite-level players, be it George or Jimmy Butler, when those respective teams are eliminated from the playoffs. For as much as Pat Riley praised what the Heat have in place, the reality is that you win in the NBA with elite-level talent surrounded by the proper supporting pieces. But if a playoff team is to move on from such a talent, it likely will require a top-tier piece and a youth element in return. So if you’re talking about George or Butler, you’re probably also talking about Hassan Whiteside or Goran Dragic in return. When it comes to the youth element, the Heat do not have a first-round pick to offer in return, although there is the youth of Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. So, to instead offer the simplest response: Yes, absolutely, should a player of that ilk come on the market.

Magic said: “I had to go to school. I had to go to CBA school, salary cap school and tampering school (laughs). You can’t tamper with somebody else’s player.” Jimmy followed that up by questioning what Magic would do if he saw Paul George while on vacation. Here’s Magic’s answer: “No, we gonna say hi because we know each other, you just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,’ even though I’ll be wink winking like (winks a bunch of times) you know what that means right?”

Even if the Pacers aren’t serious about moving George now, they are racing against the clock while trying to sell the star on an imperfect roster. The rumors will keep coming. “Honestly, that was the easiest part (of the season) because that’s something I didn’t have no control over,” George said. “If I got traded, I got traded. If I stayed, I stayed. I didn’t have no control over it. At the end of the day, I’m going to play my heart out for whatever team I was on.”
2 months ago via ESPN

Bird knows he is on the clock with George. The Lakers loom as a threat in free agency. The Pacers engaged at least the Celtics, Sixers, Hawks and Nuggets in trade talks for George at the deadline, though they never appeared serious about moving him, per league sources. (Bird has called the George rumors “fake news”). They explored trading Rodney Stuckey for a backup rim protector, including John Henson, sources say, and Bird will dangle Indy’s first-round pick again this summer in search of veteran help. Bird has been aggressive trading picks for Luis Scola and Thaddeus Young. “Our pick is in play,” Bird said.

Johnson beat Bird to it. The phone call lasted less than five minutes, consisted mostly of small talk and might have touched only briefly on the fate of Indiana star Paul George. “I wasn’t motivated to move Paul George at the deadline,” Bird said. “I can’t remember if it was even brought up or not. I don’t think it was. It’s all fake news anyway. You know that. Somebody’s gonna start it and [it] just was a snowball effect. [The phone call] was not about Paul George.”

Johnson beat Bird to it. The phone call lasted less than five minutes, consisted mostly of small talk and might have touched only briefly on the fate of Indiana star Paul George. “I wasn’t motivated to move Paul George at the deadline,” Bird said. “I can’t remember if it was even brought up or not. I don’t think it was. It’s all fake news anyway. You know that. Somebody’s gonna start it and [it] just was a snowball effect. [The phone call] was not about Paul George.”

“Magic Johnson did lob a call to Larry Bird, but if you’re the Lakers and you don’t have a tremendous amount of assets, they have some young players they hope will develop. They’re going to sit back and wait to sign him as a free agent. They’re going to have cap space in 2018. “If they were to try to trade for him, they would have to give up the core of their team and Paul George is going to have no one to play with there. “I think this is how the Pacers are looking at this. All things being equal, they know that Paul George would rather be in L.A., but they are not equal.”
3 months ago via ESPN

There is not much evidence, at least not now, that Indiana got close with anyone. Denver made a solid offer for George, roping in assets from a third team, per league sources, but the Nuggets were hesitant to part with Jamal Murray, sources say. (Nikola Jokic is rightfully untouchable.) The Pacers may regret this outcome. George can opt out after next season, and he’s probably not going to make an All-NBA team this time around — precluding Indy from offering him a mega-extension that would blow away anything rivals could dangle.

So when George met with team owner Herb Simon in recent days and told him that the Hoosier state was still the place for him, how he would love nothing more than to eventually go down as the greatest Pacer of them all, it came with one qualifier. If they can contend for a title. According to a person with knowledge of the meeting who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, that is the crossroads that Pacers president Larry Bird now faces. If the Thursday deadline comes and goes and the Pacers roster remains the same, the pressure rises in a significant way.
3 months ago via ESPN

Indiana continues to reject any calls about George, per several league sources. They are banking on the new CBA to help retain George; if he makes the All-NBA team this season, they could offer him the new designated mega-extension before he even hits free agency — a super-rich contract no rival could approach.
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May 26, 2017 | 10:03 am EDT Update
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