The NBA world was once again shaken by big news coming out of the Eastern Conference. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Paul George has told the Indiana Pacers that he has no long-term plans of staying with the franchise. He’s made it clear to the Pacers that he wants to join the purple and gold (Los Angeles Lakers) in free agency.
Could the Pacers afford loosing Paul George for nothing?
George still has a one year contract with the pacers. I will expire by the end of 2018 season. George has indicated that he’s not going to re-sign with the Pacers next summer. Meaning they will lose an All-Star forward for nothing and he could join any team he wants for free, unless they are able to swing a deal at some point before the trade deadline next season.
Los Angeles seems to be George’s first choice after his contract expires next season. Indiana Pacers are trying to drive up leverage by reportedly attempting to “move fast” in any deal they make with the Cleveland Cavaliers or any other NBA franchise.
Lakers are expected to get involved in Paul George talks if Cavaliers ‘are closing in on a deal’ with Pacers
How is the chance for the Cavaliers at getting Paul George?
According to Dave McMenamin, the Cavs are not concerned with George’s interest in Los Angeles. Via ESPN: The Cavs are willing to enter into trade talks for George without any assurances he will commit to a long-term deal in Cleveland. Cleveland is confident its championship culture and overall atmosphere could sway George to want to stay after playing out the 2017-18 season on the final year of his deal.
The question then becomes what would the Cavs give up to acquire a possible rental superstar? LeBron James is obviously off the table, and draft picks from Cleveland are essentially irrelevant. Thus, the only other players that could get Indiana’s interest are Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson. Thompson alone won’t be enough to swing a trade to land George, even with the Pacers’ lack of leverage, any deal would have to include at least one of Irving and Love. Could the Cavs sacrifice one of their cornerstones for the NBA’s superstar?