What's better than sliced bread? I'll tell you: Paul George!
Paul George is so amazing that when he does push-ups, he actually stays put and pushes the earth down!
Paul George is so amazing that he doesn't get frost bite, he bites frost!
Paul George is so amazing that he doesn't use punctuation marks in his sentences, he uses punctuation pauls!
I could go on for days about Paul George. Get used to it. He's the real deal. I alluded to this point already in a thread on MillerTime31's FanPost, but I thought I'd bring it to the masses for all to jump on the bandwagon. Paul George is the closest thing to perfection anyone will ever get in the NBA. Every team who passes up on this Golden Boy will be regretting this colossal mistake for decades. Hop or skip to the jump to hear me out.
(If you're a fan or GM from Memphis or Minnesota, this post is not for your eyes! LOOK ELSEWHERE!)
Ok, now that we got all the Grizzlies and Timberwolves fans to stop reading, let's get real. Disregard everything I just said about Paul George in the pre-jump. Don't get me wrong, I believe this kid has some real untapped talent and will be a solid player in the NBA for years. But, I'm doing every thing I can to talk him up for one reason: I believe he holds the key to unlocking the Pacers draft strategy.
STEP ASIDE, JERRY WEST. PAUL GEORGE IS THE NEW LOGO.
(Just in case any Grizzlies or Wolves are still reading!)
Back to my plan - If Paul George is still available when it comes time for Indiana to make their selection at pick number 10, Larry Legend should sit patiently and wait for two possible phone calls from David Kahn or Chris Wallace.
It is believed that both Memphis and Minnesota covet the marksman from Fresno State. As of now, several mock draft sites have Memphis selecting Paul George with their 12th pick. Memphis is banking on the fact that few teams from the 8-11 pick range are interested in George's services. Memphis needs insurance should Rudy Gay bolt for free agency this summer. Meanwhile, Minnesota is looking for as many shooters as they can to help support a very inept offense. Corey Brewer started at shooting guard, and Ryan Gomes started at small forward for Minnesota last year! Need I say more about how badly Minnesota needs an upgrade at the 2 and 3 spots?
Enter the Lady of Destiny. We may be looking at Indiana's opportunity to trade down and secure a second, first round pick.
I can see a scenario taking place where both Memphis and Minnesota enter into a bidding war for Indiana's 10th pick to grab Paul George. As of now, Memphis possesses the 12th, 25th, and 28th selections, and Minnesota owns the 4th, 16th and 23rd picks.
While I think Minnesota would be crazy to give away the 4th pick, they still have two mid-range picks to use. They're in need of help all across the board. Although it's widely assumed Minnesota will take small forward/shooting guard Wesley Johnson with their 4th pick, they've been known to employ the "take as many players who play the same position" draft strategy in the past (see: 2009 NBA Draft). There's also growing speculation that Minnesota is looking hard at DeMarcus Cousins. So, George is still a target regardless of whether Minnesota takes Johnson or Cousins. Should they come away from the draft with Wes Johnson/DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George, Minnesota would be extatic!
Memphis is in a bit better situation with draft picks, and may be more despirate to get George. They've already said they'd be willing to use all three picks if they think they could land an impact player:
[Michael] Heisley emerged from the draft lottery proceedings with the same mindset he entered, and that is to wheel and deal. It's not a lock that the Grizzlies will select 12th next month, or three times for that matter.
"We'll be trying to trade from now through the draft," Heisley said. "If we can get an impact player, we might trade all three of (the picks). If we can't do that, then we hope to use those three picks to get an impact player."
Does Paul George qualify as an "impact player"? It's too early to tell. Either way, they'd love to add a scoring/athletic punch to the mix with one of their three picks.
PAUL GEORGE GAVE BIRTH TO JAMES NAISMITH, WAS REINCARNATED AS HIMSELF, AND IS READY TO TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSE WITH A COMPLETELY NEW BRAND OF BASKETBALL!
(Surely we've lost all 8 of the Grizzlies and Wolves fans by now)
Perhaps Memphis or Minnesota calls Indiana's bluff on Paul George and settles on the next best crop of small forwards/shooting guards (Xavier Henry, Gordon Hayward, Luke Babbit, James Anderson). Indiana has a trump card to that argument: New Orleans has also shown interest in the same quartet of SF/SG prospects.
Should Indiana go ahead and take George or any of the other players aforementioned on the list, then New Orleans takes another player from the list, Memphis and Minnesota are now stuck taking whomever is left. They run the risk of not getting the player at the top of their draft board. When both teams have multiple draft picks and are willing to rid themselves of them, a wiser approach would be to trade those picks for a guarantee at getting the player of their choice.
So, wise up, Memphis and Minnesota. Send Indiana multiple picks to ensure you get the best player the NBA will ever know!
From this point forward, I am making it my life's mission to talk the you-know-what out of how great a player Paul George is in the hopes of creating a buzz so loud that Memphis or Minnesota has no choice but to deal with the Pacers for their additional first round draft picks. Who's with me!?