Pacers Rumors: George, Stuckey, Henson, Hayward

Although the Pacers engaged in Paul George trade talks prior to last month’s deadline with at least the Celtics, Hawks, Sixers, and Nuggets, the team never seemed serious about moving him, league sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe. The club’s desire to keep George in Indiana is a key theme in Lowe’s deep dive on the Pacers, with team president Larry Bird expressing a willingness to spend all he can to build a competitive roster around his star forward.

“I have a budget,” Bird said. “Whatever that budget is, I’ll spend it. Sometimes, we can’t go after max guys, or players we really think could help us, because of our budget.

“Paul wants to compete for a title,” Bird added. “We want Paul here. He has expressed that he wants to be here. That could change overnight. You never know. But whatever I can spend, I’m going to spend.”

Here’s more from Lowe on the Pacers:

  • Prior to the trade deadline, the Pacers explored the possibility of trading veteran guard Rodney Stuckey for a backup rim protector. According to Lowe, John Henson of the Bucks was one player Indiana was eyeing in such a deal.
  • A February report indicated that the Pacers had made their 2017 first-round pick available in trade discussions as they looked to fortify their roster around George. That pick ultimately didn’t change hands, but it will be on the block again in June, Bird confirms.
  • Sources tell Lowe that George would “love” to play with Gordon Hayward, who will likely become an unrestricted free agent this summer. However, as Lowe notes, the odds of Hayward signing with the Pacers probably aren’t great.
  • Here’s what George told Lowe about this year’s Pacers team: “This season has been a reality check. You think you are gonna be in those playoff battles, playing alongside those guys forever. You have to try and recapture that moment. And that moment for us was having a strong chemistry and identity. We don’t have one now. I’ve never been on a team without an identity — without a toughness identity.”
  • According to Lowe, GM Kevin Pritchard – Bird’s “top deputy” – is currently on a contract that will expire at season’s end. The Pacers will have to lock up Pritchard to a new deal soon or risk losing him to another club.
  • Whatever route Indiana takes this summer, a full-scale rebuild likely isn’t on the table. Lowe points out that the Pacers haven’t won fewer than 32 games or drafted higher than 10th in nearly three decades, with Bird saying of tanking, “We can’t do that around here.”
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8 thoughts on “Pacers Rumors: George, Stuckey, Henson, Hayward

  1. Pacers should look into a trade of PG13 try and get the No. 1 overall pick + players. Just to stand pat they will have to spend big this off-season. Don’t see the logic in that. Build a younger core around Turner. Fultz + TJ Leaf + Turner would be a nice trio.

  2. It’s a pipe dream, but I could see the Pacers going after Hayward and being an appealing destination to him. Hayward was born in, played HS in, and college ball in Indiana. For all the talk of how much appeal Hayward might have in playing for his old college coach (Brad Stevens), I would imagine that same appeal would be present for the Pacers unless Hayward really dislikes Indiana or, like Kevin Durant, doesn’t want to go back home (Indiana) because he doesn’t want to deal with all the “friends and family” that would suddenly pop back into his life.

    • gopackgo

      Stuckey for Henson the Bucks should have jumped on that trade to get rid of Henson contact

      • The Dark Side

        OR, Just simply get rid of Henson. It would have been better to trade C/PF Henson to Phoenix, (They also were looking for a rim protector) And bring back PG/SG Knight. Their salaries match, and the Bucks could use a Combo player. Knight played well in Milwaukee, and also plays well with Middleton, and Monroe. Win-Win for both teams!! Either way, Henson, Vaughn, Terry, and even Teletovic should all be gone by next year. They can take “Kidd” with them!!

  3. Reflect

    Pacers have no chance of even winning the semis, idk what planet they are dreaming on

  4. Hayward is going and playing for Boston and if PG13 wants to play with Hayward then Indiana will end up trading with the Celtics but more likely its a smokescreen I believe PG13 ends up with Lakers as Bird and Magic are close friends and make a deal happen this summer as hes from LA and going back there

      • Hayward has publicly spoken his desire to play for Coach Stevens and being UFA this summer he is more then likely to sign with Boston even if leaving millions on the table at Utah and go play with Celtics and wont be a surprise if the jazz sign and trade him this summer to Boston

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