Paul George’s intention to leave the Indiana Pacers after this year and head west to Los Angeles has been rumored for weeks. It’s left the Pacers trying to find a team that is willing to give legitimate assets for a potential one-year rental. A pair of new teams has signaled some willingness: the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs.
League sources peg Portland and San Antonio as the newest serious players in the Paul George race. Spurs said to have a real shot at him.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 22, 2017
Portland would have to clear up some cap issues and include draft picks, but none of their selections in this draft are lottery picks even though they have three in the first round. The Spurs, meanwhile, would seem to have less of a war chest, but since they are rumored to want to trade LaMarcus Aldridge they may just roll that potential top-10 pick and/or additional assets to the Pacers in a three-way trade.
Meanwhile, Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves are also looking for a veteran star and could be looking to add either Paul George or Thibs’ former player Jimmy Butler per Adrian Wojnarowski. The price would likely be their #7 pick in this draft. Thibodeau as a coach who delights in defense would be thrilled to add either defensive player to his squad of fresh-faced youngsters, even if only for a year or two. The key is getting movement prior to the draft, because much like a new car the picks have more value before they are turned into players.
The Northwest Division and the Western Conference in general are staying busy in the rumors today; the division could look very different tomorrow if any of these pan out.