Paul George reportedly informed the Indiana Pacers that he’ll not sign a contract extension this summer. The 27-year-old small forward plans to test the free agency market in 2018 with the Los Angeles Lakers as his top destination.
After hearing George’s plans, Pacers president Kevin Pritchard started entertaining offers for the All-Star forward to avoid losing him for nothing in 2018. However, several interested teams are afraid that George will only be a one-year rental. The Pacers will surely not give the superstar for a cheap price and will likely demand assets that can help them rebuild the team.
NBA Rumors: Paul George to Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the teams who wants to add George on their team. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Cavaliers expressed their intention to trade for George even without getting an assurance that he’ll re-sign in 2018.
“The Cavs are willing to enter into trade talks for George without any assurances he will commit to a long-term deal in Cleveland, a source familiar with the Cavs’ thinking told ESPN. Cleveland is confident its championship culture and overall atmosphere could sway George to want to stay after playing out the 2017-18 season on the final year of his deal,” McMenamin reported.
Since failing to defend their title, the Cavaliers have been frequently linked to Paul George. The Golden State Warriors’ current roster proved to be too much to handle for the Cavaliers. If they want to reclaim the title next season, they need additional star power on their team.
George will be a great addition to Cleveland. Last season, he averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He can definitely help the Cavaliers match the Warriors on both ends of the floor. LeBron James has been a fan of George’s game since his former team, Miami Heat, and the Pacers clashed in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014.
NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love for Paul George unlikely
Though James wants to team up with George, they would need to sacrifice either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love to make a deal with the Pacers. Without any verbal commitment that he’ll re-sign in 2018, the Cavaliers are unlikely to sacrifice either All-Stars. Cleveland sees Irving as their next franchise player if ever James leaves or retires.
Meanwhile, Love played his best season since joining the Cavalier in 2014. In 60 games he played last season, he averaged a double-double with 19.0 points and 11.1 rebound.