Before the NBA trade deadline last month, Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson and Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird reportedly had a conversation about a potential trade. However, Bird revealed that it wasn’t about Paul George and called every trade rumors involving the Pacers star “fake news.”
“I wasn’t motivated to move Paul George at the deadline,” Bird said, via Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times. “I can’t remember if it was even brought up or not. I don’t think it was. It’s all fake news anyway. You know that. Somebody’s gonna start it and [it] just was a snowball effect. [The phone call] was not about Paul George.”
In the upcoming offseason, some NBA superstars will be eligible to sign a massive contract extension with their respective teams. Unfortunately for the Pacers, Paul George isn’t guaranteeing them that he will sign the extension the team will offer him this summer. His statement sparked up the speculations that the Pacers could trade him before the trade deadline.
George still wants to become the first player to bring an NBA championship title to Indiana. In the recent offseason, Pacers president Larry Bird strengthened their chance of contending for the title with the acquisition of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young. However, as of now, the Pacers aren’t in a strong position to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Before the trade deadline, the Pacers made their 2017 first-round pick available with the hope of adding another quality player. Unfortunately, the trade deadline passed with the Pacers failing to upgrade their roster. George will become a free agent in 2018 where the Pacers could lose him for nothing.
Larry Bird gives an advice to Magic Johnson
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that Paul George considers re-signing with the Pacers. However, he may also choose to play for his hometown team, Los Angeles Lakers. As of now, the Pacers’ main focus is centered on improving their standing as the postseason draws near.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were considered as rivals but they were still able to establish a good relationship. With Johnson serving his first year as the Lakers president, Bird gave him a piece of advice.
“You can put a team together, what you think’s gonna be a pretty solid team on paper, and then when they get out there they don’t mesh well,” Bird said. “I’m sort of going through that this year. We thought we had a decent team that we thought could compete for the fourth or fifth seed. We haven’t played as well as I thought we would all year. That’s the growing pains. That’s the frustration about it.”
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