Indiana Pacers forward Paul George did everything in his power to keep his team competitive against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately for George, he simply did not receive enough help from his supporting cast in what ended up being a four-game sweep by LeBron James and Co.
It’s just a continuation of what has been a drawn-out process between George and the Pacers’ organization. Simply put, the All-Star is in no way happy with how the roster has been built around him. It led to speculation about a potential trade from Indiana back in February (more on that here).
Now, with his Pacers eliminated from the playoffs, George himself will not commit to playing with the team next season.
Pacers' Paul George on whether he wants to stay in Indiana: "I ain't even at that point yet, Bob. Next question." pic.twitter.com/A85CPLtkVA
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 23, 2017
In no way should this be considered a surprise.
First off, George is coming off an exhausting first-round matchup that saw him log 172 total minutes in four games. Secondly, there’s definitely been a rift between George and his team’s front office over the past several months.
While George himself has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, he is not set to become a free agent until following the 2017-18 season. This means that the All-Star forward would either have to request a trade to Los Angeles or play out the remainder of his contract with the Pacers.
George, 26, averaged 28.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists in the first round against Cleveland. He remains one of the top-five small forwards in the game. Should the Pacers and George decide to part ways during the summer, the trade market for his services would be plentiful.