Well, maybe not dead, but if we are to infer anything from the results of the latest NBA GM's Survey, Paul George is certainly a forgotten man. The results for the annual survey are out and a quick CTRL+F of "Paul George" returns zero results. Obviously, the rest of the league hasn't been following PG's progress in the preseason.
I get it. PG's coming off of a broken leg, keep expectations in check and see if he can stay healthy.
Except...PG's looked better than ever in preseason play. His offensive game has progressed to a level above where we last saw him 18 months ago and if he plays at that level throughout the season, everyone will notice. So I understand that the league is in PG-must-show-me mode keeping him out of MVP or top small or power forward discussions. While he plans on being an elite player involved in those discussions after the season, PG must prove it first.
Paul George didn't even garner an "Also receiving votes" mention in the "Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?" category. Worse, he is not mentioned in the "Who is the best perimeter defender in the NBA?" category. Klay Thompson over PG? The results have been gathered over the past few weeks, so NBA GM's obviously aren't worried about the Pacers, nor checking in on PG's progress for the season.
The Pacers did make an appearance in the Rookie categories. Myles Turner finished fourth in the voting for "Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft?" and received votes for the projected Rookie of the Year and "Who will be the best player in five years?" categories.
Another slight for the Pacers was in the most underrated player acquisition category. None of the Pacers new players, in particular Monta Ellis, ranks among the 20 players listed as receiving votes. Again, that may make sense if you haven't watched the Pacers nor Ellis play in the preseason. But from what I've seen, I'd take him over others on the list like Brandan Wright, Jason Thompson, Marco Belinelli and Roy Hibbert.
The Pacers did finish fifth in the voting for the most improved team which takes us back to the beginning. The Pacers were down last year because Paul George was out and if they are to be much improved this season, it will be due to PG's return.
Don't forget it.