As the NBA Draft approaches, the league and its fans have been put on notice that a blockbuster trade involving superstar Paul George may very well happen before the first pick is made on Thursday night.
George informed the Indiana Pacers of his intentions to opt out next summer and his desire to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers which got the ball rolling for trade talks with multiple teams.
Although a deal involving George was expected to happen before draft day that no longer seems to be the case. A blockbuster trade to send the perennial All-Star elsewhere is reportedly no longer imminent, according to Nate Taylor of IndyStar.com:
An Indiana Pacers’ trade involving Paul George being completed before Thursday’s NBA draft doesn’t appear imminent. The Pacers, according to multiple league sources, are considering multiple trade offers for George, but the team doesn’t feel pressure to get a deal done by Thursday.
Despite the fact that multiple teams have shown interest in George, it seems to be a two-team race. It could very well come down to who offers the best trade package between the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, but there’s always a chance that the other interested teams swoop in with a deal that is too good to turn down.
Along with the Lakers and Cavs’ aggressive pursuit of George, the Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers are also reportedly interested in acquiring the All-Star forward.
The Lakers brass, however, appears to have all the leverage with George due to the fact he wants to wear purple and gold when it is all said and done. This makes trade talks tricky for the Pacers as they likely won’t get full value for him in a deal with teams not willing to take the risk of acquiring him only to see him leave for Los Angeles next summer.
On the eve of the NBA Draft, things will certainly get interesting with the Pacers potentially feeling the pressure to make a deal while the rest of the interested teams can only sit and wait to find out if they’ve won the George sweepstakes.