According to reports, the Indiana Pacers now know what seemed inevitable a month ago: That Paul George is done with them after this year and wants to play for hometown Los Angeles Lakers.
This presents a huge problem for Indiana. From USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt:
Now, the Pacers must make a decision: try to trade him for some assets or let him walk with nothing in return. The former is difficult. No team, including the Lakers, will give up much for George knowing he is intent on joining the Lakers. The best-case scenario for Indiana is getting something from the Lakers, who want to make sure they get George instead of waiting for free agency.
But that doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Lakers. If George does want to go back to Cali, Magic Johnson can just sit back and wait to sign him. And what NBA team wants to trade a ton of assets for a star player who’s likely going to bolt after a year?
There’s an easy answer, and there are reports that they’re chatting with the Pacers’ front office: The Cleveland Cavaliers.
If the Cavs stick with the roster they have, they know they’ll fall short to the Golden State Warriors again … and there’s always the possibility the Boston Celtics…