League sources peg Portland and San Antonio as the newest serious players in the Paul George race. Spurs said to have a real shot at him.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 22, 2017
Though the sting of what might’ve been may not make it seem so (oh, by the way, George Hill is eyeing the Spurs, too), this is actually a positive development for Indiana as it will further allow the team’s brass to leverage the Lakers with the threat of their prized target being wooed by San Antonio’s winning culture during his one-year layover.
Meanwhile, the Spurs have been said to be shopping LaMarcus Aldridge’s contract one season ahead of his 2018-19 player option with a top-ten pick as the asking price. If successful, San Antonio could hypothetically flip that asset along with filler to the Pacers in what would be a multi-team trade.
That particular scenario would be far preferable to making a 1-for-1 swap for the 31-year-old while furthering the transformation of the Pacers into Blazers East. In that regard, it is notable that Kevin Pritchard has already been reunited with Nate McMillan and Bill Bayno and has received permission to interview Charlotte Hornets executive Chad Buchanan, whom he also worked closely with in Portland.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Marc Stein is intimating that Aldridge would reportedly be willing to stick around beyond this season if acquired by the Suns because they were strong-suitors for the now disgruntled star before he ultimately decided to sign with the Spurs.
Phoenix has the No. 4 pick in tonight’s draft.