A recent report suggested the Indiana Pacers aren’t considering trading Paul George. Now, the exact opposite might be true.
Welcome to the bizarre world of the NBA trade deadline.
The Pacers are “gauging the trade market” for George ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday afternoon, citing league sources.
That report runs counter to the rumor Indiana wants to keep George and continue to build a playoff contender around him, But as Wojnarowski writes, the Pacers now are keeping both paths open by “pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension — and soliciting deal offers on George that would signal a rebuild around center Myles Turner.”
The latter path should be of particular interest to the Boston Celtics, who reportedly are pursuing the 26-year-old All-Star. The Celtics also have their eyes on Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler, which could factor into Indiana’s planning, as well. If the Pacers believe the Celtics can offer the best package for George, Wojnarowski notes, they might be pressured to do a deal, since Boston could turn around and make a similar offer to Chicago for Butler.
There’s another twist in the George drama, as well: Wojnarowski reports the Los Angeles native has considered signing with his hometown Lakers once his contract expires in 2018.
In short, the Pacers have a lot to think about over the next 24 hours as it relates to their franchise player. But if they do decide to move George, they’ll have plenty of suitors, with the Celtics likely at the top of the list.
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