All the talk over the weekend in the NBA world was dominated by Markelle Fultz and Paul George, the latter of whom indicated to his incumbent Pacers that he has no intention of re-signing with them when he becomes a free agent next summer.
George has made no secret about his wish to join his hometown Lakers, but Indiana has made clear that they intend to move him as soon as possible, with the Cleveland Cavaliers suddenly emerging as an option to rent his services next season. Now, there’s a whole new wrinkle to this scenario, as the Cavs are reportedly looking at other stars as potential targets.
The Pacers were already operating at a deficit in terms of bargaining leverage, and the Cavs’ apparent interest in acquiring Butler appears to be a ploy to try and force their hand. But it gets even more complicated than that.
Boston has long had interest in landing Butler, and staring down the barrel of an already-dominant Cavs squad with Butler now in tow could easily goad them into giving up their No. 3 pick in this summer’s draft and other assets to avoid that scenario. As for the Suns, they seem to be mostly interested in being the “third team” in a deal in order to bring more young assets into the fold and get something in return.