Paul George has been the subject of various trade rumors before the February 23 deadline. The latest report revealed that the Philadelphia 76ers offered Nerlens Noel/Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington, and two first-round picks to the Indiana Pacers for George.
Before the start of the season, Paul George had a strong belief that the Pacers were in a position to win the 2017 NBA championship title. Pacers President Larry Bird succeeded to acquire veterans Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young whom he thinks can help George bring the first championship title in Indiana.
However, after facing powerhouse teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, George started to realize that the road to the NBA Finals wouldn’t be easy as he expected.
Larry Bird engaged in trade talks with four NBA teams for Paul George
Before the trade deadline, George said that he isn’t guaranteeing that he’ll sign a contract extension with the Pacers this summer. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and reportedly interested in playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Zach Lowe of ESPN revealed the Pacers engaged in trade talks with several teams regarding Paul George.
Theses include the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, and the Atlanta Hawks. Getting multiple young assets and first-round picks in return for George will help the Pacers speed up the rebuilding process. However, Bird denied the reports that they’re moving their star player and called them “fake news.”
The Pacers tried to trade their 2017 first-round pick to acquire a quality player to surround George. They also explored trading Rodney Stuckey for a backup quality rim protector. Unfortunately, the Pacers didn’t get anything after the trade deadline.
Paul George to Philadelphia 76ers
According to SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers, the Sixers made a “significant” offer to the Pacers for Paul George before the trade deadline. The Sixers reportedly offered Jahlil Okafor/Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, and at least two first-round picks to Indiana. They initially wanted to keep their own draft picks and move the draft rights of other teams.
George is set to become a free agent in 2018 where the Sixers could possibly lose him for nothing. However, Philadelphia also made their own picks beyond the 2017 NBA draft available. The Sixers believed they could convince him to stay with the help of their promising core players.
Acquiring a legitimate superstar would help the Sixers immediately return to title contention. With the current assets they have, there is a higher possibility that the Sixers will pursue George again this summer.
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