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With the news yesterday that Paul George will not resign in Indiana after next season the Pacers star is certainly more available than he ever has been. The Celtics were one of the teams rumored to be pushing hard for him at the past trade deadline in February and you'd have to imagine them at least being intrigued by potentially adding George to their roster yet again.

Unfortunately for the Pacers, George hurt his overall value by including that not only will he be leaving Indiana at season's end, but that he prefers to be traded to the LA Lakers - the very same place he's be rumored to be heading after the 2017-18 campaign via free agency:


How thoughtful of him to spare them the confusion. The problem here for any team that would have liked to deal for George is the comment about preferring to play for the Lakers certainly confirms everyones doubts of being able to re-sign George at the end of next season.

Now the Lakers could certainly get involved and get themselves George a year ahead of schedule, given that they have some very good young players and the #2 pick in this year's draft to work with. I expect them to see how this trade situation develops first in hopes that they can land George via free-agency next offseason and hold onto their young talent and assets, but I think that might be a big mistake. It's very possible that a contending team snags George in a deal and a trip to the NBA finals could certainly change his mind about leaving for Los Angeles.

My foregone conclusion is that George is going to end up in Cleveland. Sure, the Cavaliers don't have much in the way of assets to offer for George but given the impending price drop due to PG's comments a deal revolving around George for Kevin Love makes sense financially and it gives the Pacers a solid player to build around with Myles Turner or flip down the road for a better haul given that Love is locked up for the next three years in his current deal. And you just know that Cleveland will do anything they can to appease LeBron James as he heads into the final year of his current deal as well.

The Celtics are in position to trump just about any deal from anybody at this point, but without an assurance from George it makes little sense for them to give up any major assets for a 1-year rental. Could they knock off Cleveland with a similiar lineup to last year's with an addition of George? It's certainly plausible, but by no means assured. Zach Lowe of ESPN says that word out of Indiana is that the Pacers would like to ship out George ASAP, ideally before the draft later this week:


That being said teams will have to work quickly to gauge the market for the 27-year old small forward. It's already been reported that Cleveland has been in talks with the Pacers regarding a deal yesterday. The Pacers are reportedly looking for two 1st-round picks and a starter in exchange for George:


Michael Dyer suggested a package from Boston that would certainly be better than anything Cleveland could muster given their lack of picks over the next few seasons:


I have no issues with any of the players involved but I'm not so sure I can swallow giving up a potential top 5 pick for a guy who might be gone before that pick in question is even made. I was thinking more along the lines of using the Clippers '19 and Memphis '19 1st-rounders in a package as losing either one of those picks won't impact us dramatically long-term, and if it's picks the Pacers want I'm not sure they can get two better than those for George at this point. I just can't see dealing a potential top pick for a guy who might walk at the end of next season.

Does it even make sense to deal for Paul George at all given his infatuation with Los Angeles?


Related: What we know - and what what we don't - about trading the top pick

Photo Credit - Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401



Mark Allison 6/19/2017 11:09:00 AM Edit
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