NBA Rumors: Pacers Trading Paul George After Quick First Round Exit?
on Apr 24, 2017 05:50 AM EDT
The Indiana Pacers suffered another first-round exit in the NBA playoffs, this time against the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. The Pacers appear to be heading to a rebuild and it might be the right move to trade Paul George this offseason.
The Pacers were the first team gone in the 2017 NBA playoffs after getting swept by the Cavaliers on Sunday. LeBron James scored a game-high 33 points in the 106-102 win while Paul George struggled for just 15 points on 5-for-21 shooting from the field. He also missed the game-tying three with one second left, per NBA.com.
Paul George can opt out of his contract after the 2017-18 NBA season but he has been linked with trade rumors at the deadline. The Pacers will have to decide if it's time to move on from "PG13" and trade him for draft picks or convince him to stay and build a contender.
According to Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders, the time is right for the Pacers to move on from Paul George. He noted that even if George becomes eligible for the new Designated Player Exception rule, there is a big chance that the Pacers are still going to trade him.
The Lakers appear to be very interested in Paul George and they could trade for him this summer or at the trade deadline. It is possible for George to get wooed by the $80 million he could earn if he stays in Indiana when he becomes a free agent. The Lakers have the right pieces and assets to get a player like George.
However, it should be noted that these are just purely speculative at the moment and nothing has been confirmed. After the Pacers' first-round exit, Paul George was asked about his future as a free agent but he only replied, "I'm not even at that point. Next question."
The Pacers have four free agents at the end of the season including Jeff Teague, C.J. Miles, Aaron Brooks and Lavoy Allen. If Indiana decides to trade Paul George, they can build around Myles Turner, who has shown flashes of potential in his first two years in the league.