We will surely hear a ton of reports linking Paul George to potential trades once the NBA offseason gets going this summer. George himself wouldn’t commit to remaining with the Indiana Pacers long term after the team lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs last month.
This followed months of speculation that the Pacers had George on the trade block, reports that also included George wanting to return to his Southern California roots to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now comes this rather interesting piece of information from Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley concluding emphatically that George will not stay in Indiana.
“Paul George is not staying in Indiana,”Dudley said this week on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “What you do now is you can force a team for a trade. He can get to Los Angeles. He can get to the Lakers or Clippers. He’s going to make them trade (him) in February and then he’ll sign the five-year max there.”
In reality, it would not be a major surprise to see the Pacers trade George this summer. He can opt out of his contract following the 2017-18 season, an option George is extremely likely to use. Dudley seems to believe Indiana will wait until the season, but the team can probably get a better haul during the summer.
We saw just how poorly the Sacramento Kings did when it came to the haul they received for DeMarcus Cousins back in February. In-season trades don’t necessarily work well for the team dealing off valuable assets.
George, 27, put up a career-best performance this past season. He averaged a personal-high 23.7 points to go with 6.6 rebounds while shooting at a near 40 percent mark from distance. Should he be traded, whoever adds him will likely have to pay dearly.