The Pacers are feeling out the trade market for Paul George, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to Wojnarowski, Indiana is determining whether it plans to add talent around their star forward and hope to sign him to a long-term deal, or make a trade and rebuild around center Myles Turner.
USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that George met with Pacers owner Herb Simon in recent days and said that he loves Indiana and wants to be there, with the caveat of the team being able to contend for a title. This is what led to the team’s philosophical crossroads going into the trade deadline: either add parts and take a step toward being more competitive while possibly mortgaging assets, or trade George now and take the longer view.
George, 26, is averaging 22.3 points this season for the Pacers, who are a game over .500 and in sixth place in the East going into the final stretch of the season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018, and could be eligible for a maximum designated player extension with Indiana. The Vertical and USA Today both report he is considering signing with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers if things don’t improve in Indiana.
There’s reportedly “no urgency” on the Pacers’ end at present, with less than 24 hours until Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. But as Indiana assesses its competitive window and chances to re-sign George, a team like the Boston Celtics likely has the pieces to make a tempting offer. Any team moving to acquire George will have to weigh their odds of re-signing him long-term.
- Jeremy Woo