The Pacers Should Trade Paul George Sooner Rather Than Later

Paul George has made it clear that he’s going to become a free agent after next season. If the Pacers know Paul George is going to leave, why is he still on the roster? It’s easy to make the argument that the Pacers haven’t found the right deal yet. I understand that they want to make sure they get their players or picks worth for him. My concern with him still being on the roster, is what they might lose out on if they hold on to him for so long.

What could they lose out on you ask?

1. Draft Picks: Trading Paul George would almost certainly result in some sort of draft pick. The longer they hold on to Paul George, the more likely it is they won’t get picks for him. At least not the picks they want. I think they’ll lose leverage with teams the longer they hold on to him. The further they get into the season, the more desperate they’ll be to trade him. Letting him go in free agency means they’ll get nothing, which means they’ll look for the first trade partner who offers them just about anything.

2. Their Future: To go right along with my last point, if the Pacers don’t trade Paul George, they’ll likely be a playoff team, which will result in them having a lower draft pick. The chances of them getting another franchise player to build around will be much lower. Trading Paul George now would allow them to almost ensure a high draft pick in next year’s draft. Whether it’s their own pick or a pick from the trade partner, it doesn’t matter. Trading George means high draft pick. It also means more draft picks, which could be used to make a move for another star player.

3. Better Players: If the Pacers made a trade with the Cavs, they’d most likely end up with Kevin Love. If I’m the Pacers, I’ll take Kevin Love over nothing all day long. If they made a trade with the Celtics, maybe they end up with a young, high potential player like Jayson Tatum. Better than nothing. Maybe they make a trade with the Lakers and get a player like Julius Randle. Still better than nothing. You might be thinking that this contradicts my last point about having better draft picks, but remember when Kevin Love was in Minnesota? He never led them to the playoffs as their star player. His team was at the bottom of the league every year. Jayson Tatum could be a star later, but he’s not right now. Anyone the Pacers get for Paul George, won’t be enough to keep them relevant in the conference. What they will get however, are solid players who can help them build the franchise back up.

Sooner Rather Than Later

Trade Paul George now and get better draft picks, better players, and a brighter future? Or don’t trade him either for a while or not at all and get nothing? The first option sounds much better to me. I can see winning situations much sooner if the Pacers trade Paul George now. If they don’t trade him, I don’t see any within sight. The Pacers holding out for the right deal, from the right team, at the right time, could come back to bite them. I fear this could turn into another Chicago Bulls situation. Chicago could have traded with the Celtics and received a top three draft pick, and maybe some nice additional players. They could have traded with the Cavs, getting Kevin Love in return. I feel like the Bulls could have got something better for Jimmy Butler than what they got. The trade to the Timberwolves happened because they waited. They lost their leverage. The Pacers are now waiting to trade Paul George, and I fear things are going to get worse for them the longer they wait.



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4 Responses

  1. maleopold15 says:

    Great points my man… I would think their plan now is to trade him at the deadline when teams are most desperate. Any team George is on will be a playoff team, so those picks might not matter that much to Indiana. And the Cavs don’t have any assets to offer, so the only way they get George is a 3-team deal and Love goes to some random team. I don’t think there is any chance they just let George walk, but I’ve been surprised before..

    But you probably swayed me with your 2nd point- the longer they wait.. the more murky their future gets. Trade him ASAP and give your organization stability!

    Another great post as usual.

  2. W.C. Bassett says:

    I agree. If the Pacers hold on to George to long, other teams will just wait until he hits free agency, and would not do a good trade. Right now is about the right time, because teams want to prepare their teams for the season, and George would be an asset to any team.
    Great Post!

  3. Dr. Fantasy says:

    The problem isn’t with the front office, it’s with willing trade partners. PG has all but said he’s less interested in free agency than he is with playing in LA. At this point, there’s only a handful of teams that makes sense.

    Teams like Boston, San Antonio, Houston, OKC, and Toronto could all use a player like PG13 but have very little chance to re-sign the player when his term is up. Those teams aren’t offering much in terms of assets so I can’t see the Pacers agreeing with them.

    The Cavs could use PG but do the Pacers want to make a 1-1 deal that doesn’t move the needle in Love? I doubt it (unless they can flip love or involve a 3rd team).

    Lakers/Clippers and to a lesser extent the Kings all have a fighters chance because of where they play, but knowing they have the Pacers over a barrel they are likely to strong arm Indiana until the bell tolls midnight. It’s a perfect storm that’s sucking the value out of the player as Indiana is likely pursuing all avenues.

    As a Celtics fan, I can tell you that as much as our fan base would LOVE to take the talent off your roster, it’s hard to find a realistic landing place now that PG made it clear he’s going West. If the Lakers were closer to competing NOW they’d make the move, but they’ll probably just wait to sign him when he leaves whatever team he’s playing for at the end of his contract.

    – Dr. Fantasy

  4. adroed says:

    For sure, I don’t see how the Pacers can play a season with him and he’s saying he is leaving next year.

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