The NBA Draft is rapidly approaching and we’ve already seen the No. 1 overall pick get traded, but right now most basketball fans are more focused on the future of 27-year-old veteran Paul George right now than they are on the 19 to 21 year olds getting ready to enter the league. That’s because George reportedly told the Pacers over the weekend that he will be leaving the organization in free agency next summer, giving them time to change their approach to this offseason and see if they can find a trade partner in order to get some kind of return for him before he leaves.
The Pacers have wasted no time in making phone calls and are reportedly trying to get a deal done by Thursday’s draft. The Cavaliers have emerged as a potential suitor for George, mainly because they aren’t a team concerned with whether he would leave after this season. The biggest problem for the Pacers is finding a team willing to take on George with no guarantees of staying beyond next season who can offer them the return they desire, which is still a pretty steep price.
The Lakers aren’t interested in dealing for a player they feel they can sign in free agency next season, and the rest of the league will be wary of George going to L.A. in 2018. However, there is a second team in Los Angeles that might be willing to make a deal with the Pacers, if Indiana can wait until after July 1.