On Sunday, the news came out that Paul George has reportedly told the Indiana Pacers that he will leave in free agency next summer and that he prefers to join the Los Angeles Lakers. This has obviously led the Pacers to begin exploring trade options for their All-Star forward.
With the league-wide belief that George will head to the Lakers in a year, teams will likely be reluctant to offer significant pieces for what may be just a one-year rental. Some teams may be willing to take the risk however, and one of those squads is reportedly the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, the Clippers have expressed interest in a deal for George:
But the Pacers could, too, wait until after July 1 on a deal, if their best course of action involves a sign-and-trade. That, at least, gives the Pacers the chance to widen their base of possible George trade targets. Among them, league sources told Sporting News, are the Clippers, who have three significant free agents — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick — and are desperate to add a player who could change their perennial postseason disappointment. The Clippers have expressed interest in George.
Adding a player of George’s caliber could certainly help the Clippers possibly get over the hump in the playoffs as they have yet to make it past the second round.
The Clippers could believe that they can convince George to stay long term if they get him on the roster. They could give him all of the Los Angeles exposure and a return home, but would also provide him with a team much closer to contention.
With so many free agents of their own who knows what the Clippers will wind up doing and if they would be able to make this happen, especially since the Pacers are reportedly trying to make a George deal happen sooner rather than later.