IN lost the opportunity to sign George to a Designated Player Veteran Exception when he missed the All-Star Game this year, but reading the situation at this point it's hard to tell if that would have been a huge swing for the Pacers as they tried to keep their star. And with the Los Angeles Lakers immediately tired of trading assets for a player whom they may be able to obtain in free agency a year later, this leaves one other team-your Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a variety of reports-currently in the mix on the trading front and that the Pacers want to get a deal done very, very quickly.
The favor George is doing for IN here is a bitter one: they can proceed from here disencumbered of any false hope that their best and most valuable player will factor into their long-term plans, but with the crippling disadvantage that now the whole rest of the National Basketball Association knows they're under the gun to move him before the end of next season, or receive nothing IN return for his departure. By doing this, George gives the Pacers the opportunity to trade him and get something in return for him.
George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists this past season. It would be a worst case scenario to have Paul George prop up their win totals up until the trade deadline just enough to prevent them from getting a great draft pick in next year's draft. "I'm a Pacer", George declared this week. You guys talking or teams talking.
This leaves IN in a tough spot and right now, the Pacers are looking into the trade market for George.
George wants to come home.
Just trade for George. George does not have plans on playing for another team for at least a year. Knowing the star plans to leave one year from now, the Pacers will nearly be forced to move him. George wants to play for the Lakers.
Spurs fans reacted to this news, with some thinking George could join the organization via trade. George keeping the Pacers jersey is a locked on for next season but for Season 2018-19, "it's anybody's guess", ESPN reported. Had he been voted in, George would have qualified for a super-max contract worth about $210 million over five years, a staggering sum that may have been too much to turn down.
"In ways, I feel like we are close", he said. That said, George, who comes off now as a giant phony, told the media at Thursday's celebrity softball game that he wants to see if the Pacers can surround him with better teammates, wants to give general manager Kevin Pritchard time and a chance to build around him.
Look, George has every right to call the shots on his career, and it is better that he had his agent talk to the Pacers rather than keep them completely in the dark.