The NBA rumor mill is on fire right now. There are rumors are all over the place. Many teams have pursued Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, who notified the Pacers that he had no intent of returning to the team after his contract expires after the 2017-2018 season. With this in mind, the Pacers are doing their best to move him in order to get something in return instead of just letting him walk away.
Many teams have reached out to George, but the only legitimate contenders have been the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are at the center of multiple rumors in the trade market that also include another marquee player in New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. It has been reported that the only way Melo could end up suiting up for a different team next season is not via trade, but rather through a buyout and sign.
In other words, the Knicks would have to pay Anthony the remainder of his contract and then he would be eligible to sign with a different team.
The Cavs are considered the favorites to land Carmelo Anthony if he is bought out by the Knicks.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 26, 2017
Los Angeles has emerged as a leader to acquire George because George grew up just an hour outside of the city. Other than that, there really is no upside in joining the Lakers. He could get a max deal and be the go-to guy in one of the best markets in the United States, but he would not win.
In addition to Cleveland, the place where George could go and immediately be a championship contender is Boston. It is reported that the Celtics are heavily pursuing Utah Jazz guard, and free agent, Gordon Hayward. If they were to sign Hayward, they could then trade for George while not giving up too much for the latter.
The Pacers sit in a very difficult situation. By George openly saying he does not plan to return in 2018, it gives other teams leverage in the trade because they know the Pacers need to get rid of him. They can’t wait and let him walk without getting anything in return, they must trade him not and other teams know they are desperate to do so.
The last wild card included in potential trades for George is the Denver Nuggets. Denver, who has a surplus of young talents that they are willing to unload, have made it a priority this offseason to upgrade at the power forward position.
This is where Kevin Love comes in. While it has been reported that many teams want to get involved in a multi-team deal, there has not been an influx of interest for Love. The Denver Nuggets could be the team that steps in and makes this deal possible due to their interest in acquiring a talented power forward.
While these are just rumors, it does appear that whatever does happen, George will not be an Indiana Pacer next year.