The Pacers were told by Paul George on Sunday that their star player will be leaving next summer in free agency, likely for the Lakers, putting pressure on Indiana to try and move him prior to the deadline next February. Indiana isn’t wasting any time trying to figure out what the market is like for George, as there are multiple reports that the Pacers have reached out to teams about potential trades.
The most interesting reported trade conversation is between the Pacers and Cavs about possibly sending George to Cleveland as the Cavs look to add firepower to compete with the Warriors after losing the NBA Finals in five games to Golden State. The Cavs are reportedly interested, as any team would be in George, but what makes Cleveland a more legitimate trade partner is that they are supposedly interested even if George won’t commit past next season.
The real issue for the Cavaliers is what the Pacers will want in return. The Cavs don’t have any upcoming draft picks available to trade until 2021, because this year’s pick and 2019’s pick are already dealt (Portland and Atlanta, respectively). So, immediate assets aren’t a possibility, and there isn’t much on the Cleveland roster in terms of youth or star power outside of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving. Love is the most attainable of those three, as his name has been at least floated in trade rumors before, but none seem especially likely.