Storyline: Paul George Trade

333 rumors in this storyline

4 weeks ago via ESPN
Hours before the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off a surprise trade to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers on June 30, the Cleveland Cavaliers thought they had a done deal in place to nab the four-time All-Star. Nearly a month later, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert still doesn’t seem to be over it. “I will say that Indiana could’ve done better than it did,” Gilbert said Wednesday, when asked about the failed trade during new Cavs general manager Koby Altman’s introductory news conference.

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4 weeks ago via ESPN

Hours before the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off a surprise trade to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers on June 30, the Cleveland Cavaliers thought they had a done deal in place to nab the four-time All-Star. Nearly a month later, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert still doesn’t seem to be over it. “I will say that Indiana could’ve done better than it did,” Gilbert said Wednesday when asked about the failed trade during new general manager Koby Altman’s introductory news conference.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has acquired forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and forward Domantas Sabonis, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today. George, (6-9, 220), averaged a career-high 23.7 points on a career-best 46.1 percent (622-of-1348 FG) shooting from the field and 39.3 percent (195-of-496 3FG) from long distance, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.59 steals and 35.9 minutes in 75 games (all starts) with Indiana during the 2016-17 season.

“We are excited to welcome Paul George to the Thunder family and the Oklahoma City community,” said Presti. “Paul is a tremendous fit for our organization on and off the floor. He represents all the positive traits of an elite competitor, and we have long admired his relentless pursuit to improve and his ability to impact on-court success. His skill set is dynamic and at the forefront of the evolution of the game, yet he combines this with traditional and historical values and will. We are fortunate to have an incredibly unique player wear the Thunder Blue and know he will help us as we continue to build the legacy of the Thunder in real time.”
2 months ago via ESPN

Given what else was out there, this is a disappointing return for Indiana and new president Kevin Pritchard, even with the Pacers negotiating from a position of weakness. Every team, even George’s suitors in Boston and Cleveland, thinks there is at least a 75 percent chance George stays true to his L.A. plans. The Lakers certainly think that. It is unclear if they even engaged the Pacers Friday night. They didn’t yield on either Brandon Ingram or Lonzo Ball, and if they are sure George is heading their way, they were right not to. The Pacers do not appear to have been interested in D’Angelo Russell. Time will tell on the L.A. front.
2 months ago via ESPN

Timing and human dynamics play a role in high-pressure negotiations. The Celtics, Cavs, Nuggets, and Pacers have been talking off and on for weeks in what insiders described as an ongoing auction-style negotiation with shifting deadlines set by the Pacers. Boston and Indiana couldn’t agree on a deal before Friday, and with free agency looming, the Celtics had to turn their attention to Gordon Hayward. They wanted to sort that out first, and maintain space for Hayward, before sending away rotation players and picks for George. The lowered salary cap made any deal struck before free agency even trickier.

NBA executives are just as stunned as you are that the Pacers traded Paul George to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Seconds after the trade broke, one agent texted me nine consecutive tears-of-joy emojis. Front offices top to bottom are often huddled together at the start of free agency, doing their best to strategize their team’s future — when the news of the trade broke, one Eastern Conference war room erupted in one collective “WHAAAAAAAATTTT????!!” A Western Conference front office executive said, “There were at least three or four teams that had objectively better offers.”

What were those “objectively” better offers? Two league sources said Indiana’s demand was “two starters and three picks.” The Celtics and Nuggets were two of the teams making strong pushes for George, per multiple league front-office sources, while the Cavaliers were likely one of the others. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported the Celtics were offering Jae Crowder and another starter, with three other first-round picks, which aligns with the outlined trade structure above. The Nuggets reportedly put together a “monster” package for George at the deadline, and most recently had put Emmanuel Mudiay on the table, per one league source.

Although George’s feelings could change, especially if he is traded to a team he likes, the Lakers aren’t willing to part with too much to trade for him. Second-year forward Brandon Ingram, a favorite of the Lakers’ coaching staff, has caught Indiana’s eye, but is off limits. Without the help of a third team, the Lakers weren’t willing to part with the No. 2 overall pick before the draft — the pick they used to take former UCLA star Lonzo Ball.

If the Celtics are indeed destined to trade for Paul George, they are probably just at the beginning of a long process in their dealings with Indiana general manager Kevin Pritchard. A league source said today that the Celtics are waiting to hear back from Pritchard, who as of draft night was asking for next year’s Nets’ and Lakers’ first-round picks, which are both under Celtics control. Pritchard also wants starting-caliber players included in the deal.
2 months ago via ESPN

As the Boston Celtics and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge await their chance to make a pitch to Hayward after free agency begins Saturday, Ainge’s son Tanner, who is running for Congress in Utah, has repeatedly expressed a desire for Hayward to stay with the Jazz. Late Wednesday night, Tanner Ainge tweeted at Hayward with a link to a news story about how Massachusetts is considering a “millionaire’s tax” that could eventually elevate the tax burden for high-earners.

Rockets after Paul George now?

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Rockets are not stopping now, however, as they reportedly have their sights set on Paul George. Windhorst appeared on SportsCenter following the trade and noted that Rockets GM Daryl Morey has a vision of bringing in both Chris Paul and Paul George. “When the dust all settles, will anybody be standing there to try to compete with the Warriors? The Rockets are trying to make an audacious move to do that. I’m sure at this very second they are pitching Paul George. They are pitching the Indiana Pacers. ‘Come to Houston, sign a contract extension, get the deal done. Chris Paul, James Harden and Paul George, come together and let’s try to beat the Golden State Warriors.’ That’s what’s happening right now. Whether or not they can pull it off, we’ll see. His vision is to bring Paul George and Chris Paul in. Will he be able to do it? His central piece to trade is Indianapolis native Eric Gordon. Is that gonna be enough with other pieces? I don’t know, but Daryl Morey swings for the fences.”

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).
2 months ago via ESPN

Washington Wizards All-Star guard John Wall told ESPN’s The Undefeated that he is recruiting Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George in hopes that George will push for a trade to the nation’s capital. George has no intention of staying with the Pacers beyond the expiration of his current contract in June 2018. The Los Angeles-area native is intrigued by the possibility of joining the Lakers, sources previously told The Undefeated. The four-time All-Star also is being pursued by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade, sources previously told ESPN.
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August 23, 2017 | 5:12 am EDT Update
There are some sour grapes on Cleveland’s end of things, of course. Not necessarily from James, who tweeted out a glowing tribute to Irving. He will be “ready at training camp no matter what,” according to a source close to James. But from others who wonder if Irving bit off more than he could chew. “I was hoping Ky was going to get to lead a team,” one Cavs player told ESPN. “See what it’s like to have the entire franchise on his back.”
57 mins ago via ESPN
Speights had to settle for a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum with the Magic, but if he emerges as a leader for this squad and produces when given playing time, he could ink a more lucrative deal next offseason when he will be an unrestricted free agent again. “It was a weird free agency period,” Speights said. “As you know, the money kind of dried up, especially for backup big men. So for me, I figured if I’m going to play on a minimum deal, which is what I got, I might as well play for Orlando! This allows me to be close to home and around my family. I also feel like there’s an opportunity to play and contribute in Orlando. I’m not exactly sure what my role is going to be yet – I can only control what I can control – but I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team. That’s my mindset entering training camp and the season. It’s on the coaching staff to determine my role. But I love to hoop, so I’ll enjoy every minute I’m out there.”