Back in the 2013-14 season, the Pacers had the 2nd best record in franchise history at 56-26, good enough for the top seed in a year where Miami was prime "Big 3", the Pacers stood in their way largely in part to Paul George. Averaging 21.7 PPG / 6.8 REB during the regular season, PG13 elevated his game in the playoffs to 22.6 PPG / 7.6 REB, and still couldn't finish off the Heat, but it got worse. The following months after the season ended, while practicing with team USA, Paul George broke his fibula and was out practically the entire season coming back only for the final 6 games to a lost season.
Since that freak injury, it has not been a hassle or a problem and he's been improving exponentially, but the Pacers have dropped off from contenders to duds. It's no doubt Paul George is a player you build a team around... So why was he being shopped around? Most of the rumors included that Larry Bird was "gathering information", but what if the right offer was presented? Paul George said he was "in a dark place of uncertainty that was the frustrating part. You want me to be your guy here, I thought I would have been in the loop a little more on that."
More reports emerge about the Indiana Pacers' superstar and according to Kevin O Connor's source, George has made up his mind as stated in his piece on The Ringer.
"Paul George and Jimmy Butler were involved in trade rumors at the deadline, and all indications are that those conversations will resume this offseason. One front-office source told me recently that Butler is 'as good as gone,' while George sounds like a player who wants out."
"There's no urgency, no sense of urgency, no winning pride," George stated in a post-game interview inTuesday's loss. "This locker room is just not pissed off enough."
Check top 3 possible destinations for Paul George this summer.
So let's face these facts: The Celtics (at the moment) are tied for 1st place, are playoff bound and have a huge probability of landing rights to drafting for the #1 draft pick, success all around. Along with that, they have 3 other picks heading their way which they can leverage to ex-Celtics Legend, current President of the Pacers for Paul George.
With an already successful team I'm surprised they didn't make a push for PG13 before the trade deadline, but why mess with a team who has chemistry and not in dire need for a big playmaker, yet. Depending on their performance in the playoffs will determine on the need for someone like Paul.
In order to bring George to Boston, the Celtics would probably have to trade away Jae Crowder and another player like Marcus Smart to the Pacers. They already have Isaiah Thomas on the point guard position, so it will be very interesting if the select Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz. Maybe they can add one of them for Paul George.
One thing for sure and that is – If Paul George is traded to the Celtics it would be mouth-watering to see a trio of Isaiah Thomas, Paul George and Al Horford together on the court.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers 2017-18 will officially be in their 1st year of rebuilding with new Owner Jeanie Buss, New Front office Pelinka / Magic and 2nd-year coach Luke. Lakers are another team with picks and options to trade for PG13, I just feel they should've held on to Lou Williams for better leverage, but hey they have a probability of having 2 1st round picks and Tyler Ennis is growing.
The Lakers have plenty of young talent that could interest the Pacers in pursuing a deal. Indiana would like a young point guard and if they were to trade with the Lakers they have their pick of players to choose from with D’Angelo Russell being a big possibility. The Lakers could also offer up players like Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle or Ivica Zubac in a trade. L.A also have many draft picks for the future NBA Drafts which could interest Indiana.
There's no doubt PG is really a disappointment and frustrated in the direction of the Pacers and according to Sam Amick is "Hell-bent" on becoming a Laker. If that's the truth, then it becomes a thinker. Should the Lakers trade for Paul George or wait for him to hit Free Agency and focus on bringing him in. LA's core roster average age is 22.4 years George will turn 27 in May, and he could be the veteran leader to a developing and rising team with virtually no ceiling.
Oklahoma City Thunder
This is the longest shot out of all, but how dope would a combination of Westbrook and Paul George look? It's obvious both players would benefit from each others' services, but OKC really doesn't have much to offer.
If no other team makes an offer or is good, OKC can jump in with their 2018 picks, add multiple players to match the salaries which will definitely include Victor Oladipo.
The best deal for Paul George would be if OKC offer: Enes Kanter, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and 2018 second round draft pick from Chicago.