The Paul George trade rumors have cooled but the Indiana Pacers need to remain patient to avoid being taken advantage of. Today the NBA Finals is front and center but after the Golden State Warriors celebration the George rumors will be running on ESPN every day.
During last year’s trade deadline, the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers made huge offers for George. However, there’s speculation that George will ditch any team he’s traded to for Los Angeles. This has caused Denver and Philadelphia to lose interest.
This has been repeated over and over, but Indiana will still have a chance to offer George $215 million dollars next season if he makes an All-NBA team. The mega contract gives Indiana an advantage next summer to re-sign George. Indiana should also know by the February trade deadline if George is going to make an All-NBA team.
Indiana could always trade George at the deadline to a team looking to rent his services for a playoff run. Cleveland, Houston, San Antonio or Toronto could be interested and Indiana could get some future first round picks in exchange.
Patience is key for Kevin Pritchard and company. Just look at recent history to judge how Indiana should handle the George situation.
Three years ago, Kevin Love was entering the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota GM Flip Saunders (RIP) didn’t like any of the offers he received. Saunders held on to Love. LeBron James went to back to Cleveland and that led the Cavaliers to trade No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins for Love.
The same scenario could arise with the Boston Celtics. If Boston gets a top free agent like Blake Griffin or Gordon Hayward, they could trade for George in to create a quartet with Isiah Thomas and Al Horford.
Right now, Boston seems content to use their draft picks and build for the future like Cleveland in 2014 (Irving and Wiggins combo), but that could always change. I know Indiana fans are starting to get anxious but I’m preaching patience.