The break portion of the NBA All-Star break ends for the Pacers on Wednesday afternoon as they return to work at the Fieldhouse to begin prepping for a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, starting with a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at the Fieldhouse.
The players will begin rolling into the Fieldhouse roughly 24 hours before the NBA trade deadline hits on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. So the question remains: Will any of the current players not be on the roster come Friday when the Pacers return to game action?
We've seen the rumors of the Pacers showing interest in Brook Lopez and Jahlil Okafor as they appear set to continue building around Paul George in particular, as well as Myles Turner and Jeff Teague. Yes, there has been plenty of interest in Paul George from other teams and plenty of external forces making the case that PG could be dealt for a strong rebuild package, but why they would do that makes less sense.
Conrad Brunner lays out the best case here, so check it out. And reporting from Nate Taylor confirms the Pacers remain committed to building upon their current core.
Dealing PG now would be giving up and going to the back of the line. That's not Larry Bird's M.O. as team president and I would think were he to do that, his next move would be handing the team operations off to someone else and moving to Florida.
Plenty can happen between now and the end of PG's cotract in 16 months, so instead of dissecting every sentence, it may be easier to let things play out. At least for this season, considering the Pacers are still sixth in the East and very much involved in the playoff picture.
Besides, as I stated in the latest Locked on Pacers podcast, heavy duty Pacers fans know Paul George's flaws, but look around the league and find teams who would love a Paul George and don't have a comparable player.
Of course, now with Magic Johnson running the Lakers, Bird may just want to go mano-a-mano for old time’s sake. When there is silence from the Fieldhouse, all scenarios remain in play.
So stay tuned, share your thoughts and let's see what the rumor mill gins up today.