The Los Angeles Lakers emerged as the top trade destination for Paul George after the Cleveland Cavaliers sweep the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, the Boston Celtics are expected to go hard on George this summer and form a new “Big Three” with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.
The Pacers will be making a tough decision in the upcoming offseason regarding the future of Paul George. Pacers president Larry Bird expressed his intention to give him a contract extension which could be a six-year deal worth $223 million. However, before the trade deadline, the 26-year-old small forward said that he’s not giving the Pacers any guarantee that he’ll sign the extension.
Should the Lakers trade for Paul George this summer?
George will become a free agent in 2018 where the Pacers could lose him for nothing. In the upcoming offseason, Indiana could decide to move him and start rebuilding the team. In the past months, rumors continue to swirl that George is interested in playing for his hometown team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are in dire need of a legitimate superstar after losing Kobe Bryant last summer. In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, Lakers president basketball operations Magic Johnson answered a question on what he would do if he saw George on vacation.
“No, we gonna say ‘hi’ because we know each other,” Johnson said. “You just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,’ even though I’ll be wink winking like, ‘you know what that means right?'”
Johnson and new general manager Rob Pelinka revealed their plan to bring in a superstar in Los Angeles this summer. However, with their current status, it will be risky for the Lakers to recklessly trade for George this summer. The Pacers star has an issue when dealing with teammates.
What happened in the recent playoffs could also happen with the Lakers, especially if they underperform next season. George wants to win a championship and obviously needs a help from another superstar to achieve his goal. The Lakers may have the assets to make a deal but convincing him to stay will be a tough task. As most people think, it will be best for the Lakers to be patient and wait for Paul George to become a free agent.
Boston Celtics a perfect destination for Paul George
Aside from the Lakers, the Boston Celtics are also expected to make a pitch for George this summer. Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News revealed that a general manager believes George will mesh well with Celtics stars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.
“From that standpoint, the Celtics could be a better landing place for George, if the Pacers decide to rebuild the team. One GM suggested that George would work very well with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford if the Celtics go after George, as they did at the last trade deadline,” Lawrence wrote.
The Celtics have succeeded to take the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, their playoff performance showed that they still need to add at least one superstar to become a legitimate title contender. In the upcoming offseason, the Celtics are expected to make a big move and Paul George will surely be on the top of their list.
Photo courtesy: joshuak8/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA Stats All Seasons