Could the Los Angeles Clippers consider making an attempt to acquire Indiana Pacers’ superstar Paul George?
As the Los Angeles Clippers prepare for the upcoming NBA offseason, quite a few questions surround the franchise. Will Chris Paul re-sign in free agency? Could Blake Griffin choose to walk away and sign with another team?
Those answers are not known at this point in time, but the Clippers cannot afford to let those questions distract them from considering other options. One of those options could be making a massive trade to acquire another star. Perhaps a trade for Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George could be a possibility.
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Last season with the Pacers, George ended up averaging a career-high 23.7 points per game to go along with 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. George shot 46.1 percent from the field overall and knocked down 39.3 percent of his three-point attempts. During the playoffs, George took his game to a new level by averaging 28.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game.
Rumors have been flying that George wants to return to Los Angeles, with the Lakers being the team most mentioned as a potential trade destination. George grew up a Lakers fan, but could he return to L.A. to play for the Clippers instead?
NBA analyst Chris Broussard mentioned that the Clippers could be a landing spot for George during an interview with Colin Cowherd.
“I think the Clippers are in great position to snatch Paul George. I would offer Blake Griffin; I don’t know if the Pacers would do it. I would offer Blake Griffin this summer in a sign-and-trade; now Blake would have to sign off on it. Or I re-sign Blake and then come trade deadline, I’m shipping him to Indiana for Paul George. I think Blake would be better in the East even than the West. And the Clippers? Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Paul George? Now you’re cookin’ with oil!”
It certainly is an intriguing thought for the Clippers and Pacers. L.A. would be getting an ideal star to fit alongside Paul and Jordan, while new Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard would bring another star back to Indiana. The Pacers could ask for more in return for George, but a straight-up swap would be a possibility as well.
Over the past few seasons, the Clippers have struggled with injuries in the playoffs. No player has struggled with injuries more than Griffin and the Clippers have been growing increasingly frustrated.
Acquiring a talent like PG-13 could take them to the next level. George is one of the best two-way players in the game, which would help a Clippers’ defense that has been mediocre at best. His three-point shooting would be a welcome addition for L.A. as well, especially with the possible departure of sharpshooter J.J. Redick this offseason.
One potential snag that the Clippers will obviously be worried about in any trade for George will be his contract situation. Unless George is willing to sign long-term with the Clippers immediately following the trade, he could simply walk in free agency at the end of the season. Magic Johnson and the Lakers reportedly are very confident that they can sign George next offseason if he hits free agency.
To answer the question, George would be a perfect trade target for the Clippers. Should they pursue a trade with the Pacers? Absolutely. Will they have an opportunity to acquire George and will the Pacers entertain a Griffin-for-George swap? Probably not.
Expect to see the Clippers be extremely active in free agency and on the trade market this offseason. George wants to head home to Los Angeles and the Clippers should definitely try to make that happen and stun the entire Lakers fanbase.