It feels like the clock is ticking on Paul George’s time with the Indiana Pacers, but should they consider trading him as early as this summer? Here are the pros and cons.
Generally speaking, when a team has a top-10 player in the NBA, it has at least the foundation for building a good team. Play your cards right and that kind of supperstar can attract other premier talent. Draft well, land a great player or two in free agency, swing a trade here and there, and you’ve got the makings of a championship contender.
The Indiana Pacers have such a player in Paul George, as 2013 and 2014 showed us, you can build a championship-caliber team around him. Those Pacers pushed LeBron James‘ Miami Heat powerhouse to seven games in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, and even snagged the No. 1 seed in the East in 2014 before crumbling in a six-game series in the conference finals.
But with the exception of an injury-prone (and possibly washed up) Lance Stephenson, PG-13 is now the only starter from those teams still in Indiana. Roy Hibbert, George Hill, David West and Ian Mahinmi are all gone, and none of George’s current cohorts have lived up to their ends of the bargain.
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Heading into the season, many thought Indiana had enough horses to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. At 39-40, the Pacers are not only a losing team, but they’re currently barely in the playoff field at all, clinging to the No. 8 seed in the East.
With George hitting free agency in 2018 and Los Angeles Lakers whispers growing louder, it’s not surprising the Pacers toyed around with the idea of trading him. Such a decision would obviously come with major ramifications, regardless of what happens for the rest of the 2016-17 season.
The question is, should the Pacers seriously consider making Paul George available via trade on draft day? Here’s a look at the potential pros and cons of such a franchise-altering decision.