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Report: Pacers were previously 'believed to be interested in pursuing' LA Clippers Paul George

George is a nine-time All-Star

Multiple reports published last month connected the Indiana Pacers to Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George.

George, who played for the Pacers from 2010 through 2017, is on a contract that could expire after this season (player option) and has not yet signed a contract extension in LA. He is expected to remain with the Clippers, especially after Kawhi Leonard agreed to a longer deal, but he has yet to put pen to paper.

The nine-time All-Star, who received that honor four times with Indiana, is one of the premier wings in the league. His skill set would fit the Pacers current style perfectly. While he may never be available as a free agent or for trade, it makes sense that the blue and gold would consider what a George reunion could look like.

In mid-January, Marc Stein reported in The Stein Line that George's free agency could be a fascinating storyline, though it had become expected that he would extend his deal with the Clippers.

"George's free agency had the potential to be one of next summer’s most interesting storylines with both Philadelphia and PG-13’s old friends in Indiana believed to be interested in pursuing him," Stein detailed. He penned those words just a few days before the Pacers traded for star forward Pascal Siakam, which will prevent Indiana from having cap space in the offseason barring a significant change.

Still, it's noteworthy that the blue and gold were interested in the star forward, even though it's unlikely he is ever available. Siakam ended up being the Pacers big acquisition at the forward position. He has played in nine games for Indiana so far and is averaging 21.2 points per game.

Just a few days after Stein's report, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports shared something similar on the No Cap Room podcast. "Tyrese Haliburton has been motivating people behind the scenes to really ramp this thing up and bring in talent," Fischer explained about 17.5 minutes into the episode. The podcast was released one day after Siakam was dealt to Indiana. "I know Marc Stein wrote that the Pacers were expected to be a team to go pursue Paul George this summer in free agency... they (Haliburton and George) were intrigued, from my understanding, about the idea of playing together."

Fischer also mentioned that Haliburton went on Geroge's podcast, Podcast P, in the offseason. The two talked about Haliburton's contract extension and the Pacers franchise, among other things, in a wide-ranging conversation.

George changing teams feels exceedingly unlikely, and with Siakam now in Indiana it feels like an improbable reunion. But it is noteworthy that it was reported at all, and it is one of many signs that the Pacers are ready to take the next steps as a franchise. George is averaging 22.9 points per game for LA this season.

The trade deadline is in a few days. Don't expect the Clippers and Pacers to make a trade involving star players, but Indiana's new direction and goals have been made clear by their maneuvers and reported hopeful additions.

  • Indiana Pacers still figuring out how to manage Tyrese Haliburton's minutes restriction after loss to Sacramento Kings. CLICK HERE.
  • Pascal Siakam discusses long-term future with Indiana Pacers and upcoming free agency. CLICK HERE.
  • Indiana Pacers trade deadline rumor tracker. CLICK HERE.
  • Pacers doomed by poor defense in loss to Sacramento Kings as losing streak reaches three. CLICK HERE.
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