Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers are still actively looking for a trade partner for Paul George after he told the team that he intends to leave next year and sign with the Lakers in free agency.
Here’s a rundown of all the rumors coming from yesterday:
And here’s everything from today to this point:
The Pacers are still discussing with the Cavaliers, but Cleveland is also looking for a way to get Jimmy Butler and their GM David Griffin just resigned after not getting an extension and having some disagreements with ownership about future of the franchise. While the Cavaliers are looking for a replacement, they are still talking to teams about potential trades involving Kevin Love, which would likely be the centerpiece going from the Cavs in any potential George deal, most likely with a 3rd team involved.
Even though George’s agent is telling teams that he’ll only be a rental and won’t commit to signing with anyone other than the Lakers, several teams have been confirmed to show interest. Other teams that have been confirmed by reports to be interested include the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets, the Portland Trailblazers and the Washington Wizards. With the Clippers and Wizards, it may have to involve sign and trades which wouldn’t happen until free agency. The Pacers are said to be wanting to find a trade before the draft on Thursday. Zach Lowe also speculates that the Mavericks could build an offer around the 9th pick, but he’s not reporting that they’re actually doing so at this point.
David Aldridge is reporting that the Pacers are looking for two first round picks and a starter for George, though that will be hard to come by with George’s agent making it clear that he intends to sign with the Lakers next season no matter where the Pacers trade him.
Other news from the Lowe Post: One team that made an offer at the deadline, but will not be pursuing George now is the Denver Nuggets. The Boston Celtics will not be offering the number 3 overall pick for George. Lowe did say they can put together a package of Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and Avery Bradley and still maintain enough space to sign Gordon Hayward if Danny Ainge is so inclined.
Lakers are expected to be more open to trading for George if things heat up for a contender in a potential deal, but reports are that they will not be willing to part with more than Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and the 28th pick in this year’s draft. This isn’t saying that they’ve offered this to the Pacers yet, but that it would be the ceiling for what the Pacers could receive from the Lakers. Randle and fellow Laker DeAngelo Russel share an agent with Paul George and many speculate that the agent is trying to keep all three players in Los Angeles.
The Vertical is reporting that the Lakers definitely won’t give up Brandon Ingram or the number two pick in the draft, but that the package above could be possible. He says Paul George would prefer to play out this year with the Pacers rather than play for another team next year before leaving for the Lakers.
In other news, the Pacers were reportedly going to be targeting Danilo Gallinari and Jrue Holiday before the George told them he was leaving. Scott Agness is reporting that many in the organization were surprised and that the plan was to get the team back to the Eastern Conference Finals with George leading the way.
Also, the Pacers are now considering starting Lance Stephenson at point guard next season for the rebuild, because of his work so far this offseason in losing 10+ pounds and being in great shape. This would signal the likely end of Jeff Teague’s brief tenure in Indiana as well if he still had interest in signing with the Pacers after the George announcement.