Earlier today, the NBA released the results for their three All-NBA teams. The Pacers and their fans anxiously awaited to see if Paul George had made any of the three teams, which would trigger an incentive in his contract that would allow the Pacers to pay him a maximum contract of over $200 million - roughly $70 million more than any other team would be able to offer the 27-year-old star forward.
Instead, George was left off of every All-NBA honor since 2015 when he missed 76 games due to a broken leg. And now, General Manager Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers have some serious work to do if they wish to keep George in Indiana for years to come.
George will reportedly weigh his options regarding his future as early as this weekend, per the Indianapolis Star.
A league source said Paul George is expected to weigh his options this weekend. https://t.co/mKLXERhmbx— IndyStar Sports (@IndyStarSports) May 18, 2017
While the tweet to the piece on George indicates that reports of him weighing his options in the next few days, the post itself does not mention such a thing - perhaps being pulled from the post all-together? But that’s besides the point. Regardless of what ends up happening, George’s timeliness on his decision could have a significant impact on the Pacers’ future.
Next step for Pacers President Kevin Pritchard is to talk with Paul George’s agent to get a firm understanding on his goals and intentions.— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) May 18, 2017
Say George does make a definitive decision on his future as early as this weekend and includes his desires in his meeting with Pritchard. If he makes it clear that he has no intentions of remaining in Indiana, then Pritchard can begin to work on a possible trade with various teams ahead of the June 22 NBA draft where the team could receive valuable assets in possible draft picks in any potential deal. But if George remains unknown of his decision and continues his career with the Pacers through next season, they risk him signing with an opposing team in free agency of 2018 - losing their best player for nothing in return and possibly triggering an extensive rebuild.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Lakers were ‘confident’ that they can sign George as a free agent in 2018. The significance behind this report is that the Lakers have been linked to various rumors as a suitor for a trade involving George ahead of this year’s draft. But if they do in fact feel high on not giving up any assets and rather signing George at the cost of nothing next year, then it could be unlikely to see them strike a deal for the California native.
Things should become more interesting in the coming weeks as the Pacers wait to hear from George.