When reports surfaced on Sunday that Paul George told the Pacers, it sent waves across the basketball world and put the Pacers in a rare conundrum: trade him as soon as possible despite a lack of leverage, or hold out for better offers and risk starting the season with a disgruntled star on the roster.
Fortunately for the Pacers, there is a market for George. The team has already heard from a number of suitors including the Clippers, who have expressed their interest in acquiring him, according to a report from Sporting News.
The Clippers make a lot of sense as a dark horse contender if George were to be traded. The team is reportedly “desperate” to add a player who could reverse their postseason struggles, and they could acquire George via sign-and-trade and offer the opportunity to play in Los Angeles — something he’s made clear he wants to do, however his preference is reportedly with the Lakers.
Adding George to the Clippers now could also entice two of their three major free agents — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick — to stay in L.A. before the championship window completely closes under Doc Rivers, although one of them would presumably be included in any sign-and-trade scenario.
With George’s time in Indiana quickly expiring, the Pacers are looking to close a “panic-time deal involving George,” the report says — one they hope to get done ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft.
If the Clippers are able to strike a deal for George before Thursday, it would essentially be a one-year “rental” before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018.