Paul George Wants to Leave Next Year and We Should Help Him NOW


Photo Provided by USATSI


It has been reported that Paul George will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be.

This has been expected since February when there were talks of trading George before the deadline. But now it is a reality.

PG would like to play for a championship team, but in this super team era of the NBA, the #7 seed Pacers are VERY far from contention.   Even if he were to join the LA Lakers, he is still far from contention. But let him try and live the “Hollywood dream.”

Let’s not make this our problem.   He’s ready to go and I’ve been ready for him to leave for nearly 5 months now.

The NBA Draft takes place on June 22 and the Lakers have the highly sought #2 pick. They have even reportedly opened up their phone lines to “make and take calls.”

Kevin Pritchard’s first task as GM? Call Lakers (310)-xxx-xxxx and start negotiating.

Trade Proposal

Pacers send: Paul George

Lakers send: #2 Pick in 2017 NBA Draft

                        Brandon Ingram


Now remember, the Lakers have the leverage in this situation. George has already reported of wanting to play in LA next season.

So the Lakers could pretty things up a little more & play the waiting game.

The Pacers could walk away with very little in this deal.  

With that said..

Trade #2:

Pacers send:

Paul George

Lakers send:

#2 Draft Pick

We should count our losses and blame the Pacers front office for not trading when they had the leverage in February.

But if I’m the Lakers, I start prettying things up for LeBron James, who reportedly may leave Cleveland next summer and head West for LA.

The Pacers also may trade with other partners.

There are reports that he could become a ‘rental’ for a year for a team such as the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are looking to even up the playing field with the Golden State Warriors, and adding Paul George would not hurt the Cavaliers at all.

Draft Day

The best thing about having the #2 pick? There’s only one person off the draft board.

Markelle Fultz will have his name called by Adam Silver as the #1 pick going to the Philadelphia 76ers, from a trade with the Boston Celtics.

If we were to get Brandon Ingram, we have no issues at the Small Forward position. We also have Glenn Robinson III, who in my eyes has a lot of star potential.

In that case, we go forward and draft a guard.

My pick:

DeAaron Fox, Point Guard

I’m a huge believer in this guy. He played one year under Coach Calipari at the University of Kentucky. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. The way that he played in this years NCAA Tournament creates thoughts of becoming a great two way point guard. I think he can do it on both ends and quicker than  many may expect. 

Other potential guard picks:

Lonzo Ball, Point Guard

This guy has all the odds against him. He has drawn comparisons to Steph Curry (100% from his dad), has his own shoe and is in the media nearly every day. He played well in his one year in college under Steve Alford at UCLA. He is a team oriented player as he averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game. The only question, will he live up to the hype?

Malik Monk, Shooting Guard

It is crazy how much changes in one year. Before his freshman year at Kentucky, Monk would’ve been drafted Top 3. Now it would be a stretch to take him at the #2 spot. He is projected to go around the #8 pick. He averaged 19.8 points, 2.3 assists and 2.5 rebounds in his one year under Calipari. If the Pacers were sold on Malik Monk, they could trade back and get some support players or other draft picks.

If the Pacers did not get Brandon Ingram in a trade deal, there would be a vacancy at the SF position.

My pick:

Josh Jackson, Small Forward

This is my favorite small forward in this year’s draft. He played at Kansas and I believe he will be able to make the biggest impact Day 1. He is 6’8 and weighs 207 pounds. Which is a comparable size to Paul George. He averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his freshman year.

Other potential forward picks:

Jayson Tatum, Small Forward

Another projected Top 5 pick with potential for an easy NBA transition on Day 1. He played under the greatest (opinion) coach in college basketball during his one year at Duke University. He is 6’8 and weighs 204 pounds, which is again comparable to Paul George. He averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Jonathan Isaac, Small Forward

Isaac is more of a Power Forward than a Small Forward. Compared to Paul George, Jackson & Tatum who play the SG/SF role more than anything. Isaac is a 6’11 big man who can also score at the SF position. Not as good as the 6’11 SF Kevin Durant. We already have the PF position secured with Thaddeus Young. We could also draft someone with this same playstyle at our #18 pick, if we keep it.

#18 Draft Pick Potentials:

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky PF/C


OG Anunoby, Indiana SG/SF

Ike Anigbogu, UCLA Center


Owen’s Ideal Indiana Pacers 2017-18 Roster:

BEFORE Free Agency (will exclude Jeff Teague)


Trade #1 Scenario

PG: DeAaron Fox / Lonzo Ball

SG: Lance Stephenson / Monta Ellis

SF: Brandon Ingram

PF: Thad Young

C: Myles Turner

Rotation Players: Glenn Robinson III, Lance Stephenson, #18 Pick


Trade #2 Scenario

PG: Jeff Teague

SG: Monta Ellis / Lance Stephenson

SF: Josh Jackson / Jayson Tatum

PF: Thad Young

C: Myles Turner

Rotation Players: Glenn Robinson III, Lance Stephenson / Monta Ellis, #18 Pick

The best thing about all of this?   By the time this team enters its prime, LeBron James will be retired (or barely hanging on) and the Warriors may be split up. Therefore ending the era of superteams? We can only hope so

And For those people who say superteams don’t hurt the NBA..   If LeBron James wouldn’t have joined the Miami Heat in 2011, Kevin Durant would have stayed in Oklahoma City and Paul George would been satisfied playing for the Indiana Pacers.

Oh & Paul George.. don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  


Categories: College and Pro, Columns, Pro's with O, The Pros

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