"The Pacers are working the trade deadline on parallel fronts: Pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension – and soliciting deal offers on George that would signal a rebuild around center Myles Turner, league sources told The Vertical.
"Ultimately, the Pacers will have to evaluate the two paths and make a decision before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. There’s no urgency to make a deal for George, unless the Pacers fear the Boston Celtics could ultimately provide Indiana the best possible package of assets in a deal – and think that option could disappear if Boston makes a deal with Chicago for Jimmy Butler.
"For teams considering a trade for George, here’s the risk: As a free agent in the summer of 2018, he has considered re-signing with Indiana or joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell The Vertical."
While we highly doubt a second superstar ends up traded this season, there are a number of teams who should be pounding on Larry Bird's door to try to acquire PG-13. Here are the three teams we think are in the best position to acquire the Pacers wing — and the three teams that should mortgage the farm to trade for George.
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The Celtics are in the market for a superstar wing, with interest in both George and the Bulls' Jimmy Butler. If I'm Boston, I'd prefer George.
He's bigger, longer, a better all-around offensive player and a far better 3-point shooter, while he and Butler give you about the same defensive intensity — and given that Chicago isn't sure it wants to part with Butler, one imagines George can be had for a lower price tag.
Proposed trade: George for Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, and the Nets' 2017 first-round pick. If the Pacers want one of Boston's overseas assets as well, so be it.
Brian SpurlockBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers could wait out the string until 2018, when George becomes a free agent — but after firing half the front office and giving Magic Johnson ultimate authority, we're guessing patience is in short supply in Los Angeles.
Adding George at the deadline would vault the Lakers back to relevance. And as much as we like all of the young pieces on this roster, there's no one we expect to surpass George.
Proposed trade: George for Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, the rights to swap picks with the Lakers in 2017 (which would give Indiana Los Angeles' lottery pick if it falls in the top three and they keep it, rather than sending it to Philly), and a 2021 first-round pick.
If that's not enough, you probably have to consider including Julius Randle or Larry Nance Jr. instead of the second draft pick. Either way, you make the deal.
Richard MacksonRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
The Sixers would be taking the biggest risk in trading for George, since there's no guarantee he would re-sign in Philly next season. However, he'd get to stay in the weaker Eastern Conference as a member of the Sixers, and he'd also get to help Joel Embiid blossom into the superstar we all hope he's set to become.
Proposed trade: George forBen Simmons, Jahlil Okafor, Ersan Ilyasova, the rights to the 76ers' best 2017 first-round pick (top-three protected), and a 2019 first-round pick.
I'm not sure why Indy would do this, necessarily, but I'll take Dario, PG, Joel (when he's healthy), T.J. and Nerlens, please and thank you.