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.
I had suggested the Cavs make a three-way deal with Love going to the Boston Celtics for picks, then those draft picks headed to the Pacers for George. One NBA executive told me the problem is the Celtics also want George. He believes Boston could end up being the destination for George because the Celtics have the picks and some young players with appeal to Indiana.
The Pacers did talk to the Los Angeles Lakers about a package starting with Brandon Ingram, but the 19-year-old forward is exactly the kind of athletic player Magic Johnson wants on his team. He averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds as a rookie last season.
A source confirmed that Boston was in discussions with the Pacers about George, however, and indicated that the team would have interest in reviving the talks, but is unsure where the Pacers stand in the process.
The Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers continue to discuss a Paul George trade but it is reportedly contingent on signing Gordon Hayward in free agency. According to sources, the Celtics are in position to trade for George with a three-year extension in place. George would lose money, however, on an extend-and-trade as opposed to the raises he could receive simply becoming a free agent in 2018.
The Pacers are upset, betrayed, and disappointed in George. They had set out to re-tool the roster to lead to more success, but now must make a sharp pivot. “You go from a situation where you’re trying to build and you don’t feel like you’re that far away with Paul, Myles [Turner] coming as fast as he’s coming, [Jeff] Teague having a good year — we felt like as the season went on, he got better,” Pritchard said.
Nate Taylor: Kevin Pritchard on Paul George: "A lot of things still ongoing. We're not going to make a bad deal."
Brian Robb: Rich Gotham on George discussions: "We have a lot of conversations this time of year. We've talked to a lot of teams in the last few days."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Boston, Indiana talks for Paul George had gained significant momentum, but sides are still apart on a possible deal.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Indiana and Boston are engaged in serious talks on a Paul George trade, league sources tell @TheVertical.
Darren Wolfson: Locked in at Mayo Square. Told by a league contact that the Pacers asked for LaVine (and more) for George. My opinion: easy no for #Twolves.
Jabari Young: When thinking of PG to SA, connect the dots. Who hired #Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard in 2003? #Spurs .. who drafted Aldridge in POR? Pritchard
ESPN Cleveland: Windhorst: The Butler trade is virtually closed. That trade isn't feasible. #Cavs are still in for George but its very very unlikely.
Steve Kyler: League sources peg Portland and San Antonio as the newest serious players in the Paul George race. Spurs said to have a real shot at him.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Minnesota continues to show interest in landing Paul George or Jimmy Butler, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Sources sounded less certain on Wednesday the Pacers would deal George before Thursday’s draft, a significant change after sources contended on Tuesday night it was “highly likely” the Pacers would trade George somewhere.
Though George’s representatives informed the Pacers this week that he intends to become a free agent after his contract expires and then sign with the Lakers in the 2018 offseason, many in NBA circles believe Indiana still has leverage to entertaining trade proposals before and after the draft. Published reports indicate the Clippers, Houston, Cleveland and Washington also have engaged in trade proposals with Indiana regarding George.
An Indiana Pacers’ trade involving Paul George being completed before Thursday’s NBA draft doesn’t appear imminent. The Pacers, according to multiple league sources, are considering multiple trade offers for George, but the team doesn’t feel pressure to get a deal done by Thursday.
One source said George’s trade value would continue to drop in the league if a deal is not in place and finished after the draft. Such a situation would potentially put the Pacers in one of the most tenuous positions in the league entering next season.
The Wizards are among the teams that have reportedly discussed acquiring the Pacers forward. “Paul George is one of those one-of-a-kind type of players that can do it on both ends of the floor,” Wall said. “Definitely can create his own shot and guard some of the best players. If he did have the opportunity to come to our team, he would be a great piece for us. That would be another guy that would really make us a contender and really put us in a different conversation than what we were in this year.”
John Wall on the Wizards reportedly pursuing Paul George: “Paul George is one of those one-of-a-kind type of players that can do it on both ends of the floor. He definitely can create his own shot and guard some of the best players. If he did have the opportunity to come to our team, he would be a great piece for us. That would be another guy that would really make us a contender and put us in a different conversation than what we were in this year."
Mark Medina: Nonetheless, Pacers will continue to talk to teams. I'm told it's "highly likely" Paul George gets traded before the draft.
Adrian Wojnarowski: For the Lakers, this is longer-term play to clear space for Paul George and LeBron James pursuit. Lonzo Ball on way at No.2.
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.
Mike Bresnahan: Following up @Marc Stein + @Ramona Shelburne report, LAL would rather acquire Paul George now than FA '18, BUT wary of giving up too much.
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.
Marc Stein: The Clippers, Rockets, Wizards and, yes, Cavs are among the teams that have also talked Paul George trades with Indiana, league sources say
The Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in Paul George trade discussions as Thursday's NBA draft draws near, according to league sources. But sources told ESPN on Tuesday that it remains unclear whether the sides can agree to trade terms before the draft, given Indiana's desire to acquire the Lakers' No. 2 overall pick and L.A.'s well-chronicled reluctance to surrender it.
One team source went as far Tuesday as saying there's "zero chance" they'd surrender Thursday night's No. 2 pick or Ingram Yet sources say the fact that Indiana has made George available via trade league-wide -- after hearing directly from George's agent Aaron Mintz over the weekend that the player has no desire to commit his long-term future to the Pacers -- has led to talks that could potentially result in the Lakers' acquiring George this offseason.
Sam Amick: On Lakers-Pacers front: Paul George & D'Angelo Russell have same agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA, & he would like them to play together. Tricky...
Marc Stein: League sources tell @RamonaShelburne and me: The Pacers and Lakers have engaged on Paul George trade talks in advance of Thursday's draft.
George intends to leave the Pacers as a free agent after next season with the expressed preference of joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers. In conjunction with previous comments by Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the Lakers president of basketball operations, the news caused a large segment of those Pacers fans to wonder about tampering. Did the Lakers entice George to leave the Pacers? What about Johnson's public comments about George and the Lakers? Could the Lakers be fined or penalized by the NBA? That's unlikely to happen, according to multiple league sources.
The Pacers, according to a source, are more concerned about finding a team or multiple teams to help facilitate a trade that would bring them the most compensation possible in exchange for George. Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers’ new president, engaged with several teams Monday about potential trades involving George, according to a source. Pritchard is hoping to have a trade agreement in place before Thursday’s draft.
Washington, to a lesser degree, could fit the bill, too, and the Wizards are looking for a way to make a George deal happen. They don’t have a player of Love’s caliber to put in a deal; they’re not moving Bradley Beal after the 23-year-old just had his best NBA season. Playing alongside Washington’s backcourt of Beal and John Wall, after all, would be the selling point for George in D.C.
The Raptors remain at their franchise crossroads, still deciding which path to take. The prospect of trying to trade for George as a one-year rental — with his contractual Bird rights, which means you can outspend others to keep the player in free agency — seemed remote Monday night, though not impossible.
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.
The Indiana Pacers "aren't looking to take care of Paul George with this," according to Adrian Wojnarowski. “The Lakers aren’t giving them Brandon Ingram," added Wojnarowski. "They aren’t giving them the No. 2 pick." The Lakers could offer a combination of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and possibly the 28th overall pick in the draft for George.
But the Pacers could, too, wait until after July 1 on a deal, if their best course of action involves a sign-and-trade. That, at least, gives the Pacers the chance to widen their base of possible George trade targets. Among them, league sources told Sporting News, are the Clippers, who have three significant free agents — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick — and are desperate to add a player who could change their perennial postseason disappointment. The Clippers have expressed interest in George.
Another team to keep an eye on: Houston. The Rockets don’t have a pick in this year’s draft, but they have young talent on hand (Clint Capela, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell), and have their first-rounders going forward. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey would be willing to take the chance that being part of a contender in Houston, and playing in Mike D’Antoni’s system, would appeal to George.
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.
David Aldridge: Pacers asking teams for ideas on potential PG trades, per sources, as they have for a while. Ideally: 2 firsts+starter. Teams obv skittish. Process will likely accelerate going into Draft, but no certainty anything will get done by then.
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.
Ramona Shelburne: For those asking about PG, the Lakers have shown no inclination yet of surrendering anything for a player they can get in free agency.
Nate Taylor: A source with knowledge tells @indystar Aaron Mintz told Kevin Pritchard his message about Paul George's Lakers plans yesterday.
Nate Taylor: Until Sat., the Pacers were fully planning with the intentions of building around Paul George. Mintz' message, per source, was a surprise.
George is still a member of the Pacers, but one clothing store in Indianapolis has already moved on from the Pacers star. Shortly after the report, The Shop Indy updated the prices of all its PG-13 gear from $25 to, well, free.
In the past 24 hours, Pritchard has become more aggressive in pursuing trades for George, league sources told The Vertical. Pritchard has yet to show an inclination to engage the Lakers, but has discussed deals with several teams – including Cleveland – in which the expectation of teams would be that George is a “one-year rental.”
It is unclear how robust those offers to Indiana will ultimately be, given that teams believe he will sign with the Lakers next summer. So far, Indiana is asking for a substantial package of talent and draft picks for George, league sources said. Discussions could extend until Thursday’s NBA draft – or beyond.
Steve Kyler: One league source pegged market for Paul George being only a few teams - mainly because he's set on leaving for LA in July of 2018
Steve Kyler: In terms of being open to a one year rental - Cavs, Raptors and Clippers may be only teams willing to trade and ultimately lose George.
All-Star forward Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he plans to become a free agent in the summer of 2018 and will leave the franchise – preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told The Vertical.
George hasn’t requested a trade before he can opt out of his 2018-19 contract, but did have his agent, Aaron Mintz, tell new Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard that he wanted to be forthright on his plans and spare the franchise any confusion about his intentions, league sources told The Vertical. George can sign a four-year deal worth as much as $130 million with Los Angeles next year. George is a Southern California native and playing for the Lakers would represent a homecoming for him.
George plans to play out the 2017-18 season with Indiana, but wants to give the organization the chance to plan appropriately for its future – which George told the team won’t include him, league sources said.
if you could bring in any free agent this summer, who you want? 👀 Damian Lillard: Paul George / few others
“I’m under contract as a Pacer,” he said. “That’s all that needs to really be known. I’m here. I’m a Pacer. Again, what I’ve been dealing with is stories. You guys talking or teams talking. I’m a Pacer. There’s no way around that. This is my team, my group and this is where I’m at.”
Nate Taylor: Paul George: "I’m a Pacer. There’s no way around that. This is my team, my group & this is where I’m at.”
But it’s really no surprise that Lillard thought George must be a free agent now. The Pacers forward has been in the news so often, particularly linked to the Lakers, that it seems like a move must be imminent. More interesting is the fact that he’d be the top priority for Lillard. The Portland Trail Blazers may already regret last year’s signing of Evan Turner, but they also have Maurice Harkless at small forward and Allen Crabbe splitting his time at the two wing positions. Alas, they also don’t have anywhere near the salary cap space to handle signing a star, George or otherwise.
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?
You should buy stock in George heading to L.A. The vibe I’ve gotten from talking to NBA executives and agents over the past few weeks is that teams aren’t willing to sell the farm for George because of the possibility that he’ll sign with the Lakers is so strong. George is better than both Irving and Love — he’s a rare two-way superstar.
One NBA executive told Bleacher Report that the current task for the Lakers in their pursuit of George is to acquire another player—the type of player who would make defecting more desirable for George. Perhaps the answer is in the draft and player development, but the Lakers may need to accelerate the process by bringing in additional help through free agency and trades. And time is of the essence.
Eric Pincus: Talking to folks around the league, the Pacers have not yet solicited offers/trade talks for Paul George.
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).
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.
Why? Because this isn’t just about the money. It’s about winning. And if he can’t win at the highest level in Indiana, where the four-time All-Star has been since the Pacers drafted him 10th overall back in 2010, then it’s off to Laker Land he’ll go – either via trade or in free agency next summer.
September 26, 2021 | 8:50 pm EDT Update
Adam Zagoria: Kyrie Irving is expected at Nets’ media day Monday, per league sources. We’ll see how it plays out as he’s likely to face a lot of vaccination-related questions in the wake of the @RollingStone story.
Arash Markazi: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Talen Horton-Tucker are in a suite for today’s Rams-Buccaneers game. pic.twitter.com/2b0bmLPw6V
September 26, 2021 | 6:21 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to sign two-way guard Austin Reaves to a new two-year contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Reaves converted to a standard NBA contract, becomes Lakers‘ 14th roster spot.