Paul George frustrated Pacers didn’t keep him ‘in the loop’ during trade talk

In the end, the Indiana Pacers opted to keep Paul George despite the franchise actively trying to gauge the superstar’s value as Thursday’s trade deadline approached. But it appears while the Pacers were talking to other teams about George, they weren’t keeping the 26-year-old up to date about where he might go.

George spoke to reporters after practice Thursday and expressed his frustrations about how the team handled the situation.

“I kind of was on the ropes just like you guys were on what was about to happen,” George said. “It was kind of a dark moment of uncertainty. That was the frustrating part. You want me to be your guy here, I thought I would be in the loop a little more than that.”

The Celtics and Pacers reportedly had advanced discussions about a trade involving George, but that didn’t materialize before the 3 p.m. ET deadline. George, who has been with the Pacers his entire seven-year career in the NBA, can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and many believe he will leave Indiana and head to his hometown team – the L.A. Lakers.

George dismissed that notion Thursday.

“That’s what people are going to think,” George said. “Of course, I’m from L.A. There are ties, there are connections. But you can’t jump to a conclusion based off that. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have took a long extension here.”

George, who is one of the league’s best two-way players, was named to his fourth All-Star team and is averaging 22.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season.