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The Indiana Pacers are “assessing” the trade market for star forward Paul George, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics are said to be among the many teams that are highly interested. Dreaming about obtaining George, however, and actually landing him are two different matters.
“The Lakers’ hiring of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations will be an interesting twist to George’s free-agent recruitment, given that Johnson has been something of a George family icon going back to George’s childhood in nearby Palmdale, Calif.,” Yahoo wrote.
Several opposing team executives contacted by Amico Hoops said they don’t expect the Pacers to trade George by Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline. “Maybe after the season,” said one.
George’s uncertain contract situation is likely the primary reason for the Pacers’ decision to explore the market.
According to Yahoo, “The Pacers are working the trade deadline on parallel fronts: Pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension – and soliciting deal offers on George that would signal a rebuild around center Myles Turner, league sources told The Vertical.”
George is 6-foot-8 and capable of playing anything from shooting guard to a “stretch” power forward. He is averaging 22.6 points this season — and known as a team-first guy who is adored by Pacers president and NBA legend Larry Bird.
But as is the case so often at this time of year, it appears just about anyone can be had for the right price close to deadline day.