John Wall Says He’s Recruiting Paul George

The Wizards have only been mentioned in passing as a potential suitor in the Paul George sweepstakes, but star point guard John Wall is doing his best to make sure Washington remains very much in the conversation. As Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated details, Wall says he’s attempting to recruit George in the hopes that the Pacers forward will push for a trade to the Wizards.

Considering George is on the trade block and not heading toward free agency quite yet, Wall’s recruiting efforts can only go so far. He also may be fighting an uphill battle — while George has no interest in remaining in Indiana beyond the expiration of his current contract in 2018, he is said to strongly prefer landing with the Lakers. Nonetheless, Wall is “trying to see if we can make something happen,” according to Spears.

“Look at our team. We are one piece away,” Wall said. “We have the point guard, we have the shooting guard, we have the center, we have the power forward. Our 3-man [Otto Porter] did great for us. You can’t take nothing away from what he did. But [George] is a guy that can guard LeBron [James] and go back at LeBron. It’s a piece that you’re going to need to win. If you don’t have a guy who can do that, you don’t have a chance. … You got to add another star. You got to add another piece. You got to have three guys.”

While the Wizards would certainly be an interesting landing spot for George, they don’t have a ton of attractive trade assets to offer up, particularly compared to some of the other clubs linked to George in recent weeks. It’s possible that Washington could pull something off if the Pacers are interested in a sign-and-trade of Porter, but it’s probably a long shot, which makes Wall’s comments about the club’s apparent need at small forward more interesting. Porter is viewed as very likely to re-sign with the Wizards.

Although the Pacers didn’t get a George deal done by the end of last week’s draft, the club is expected to continue to discuss and consider trades going forward, particularly within the next week or two. The Lakers, Cavaliers, Celtics, Rockets, and Clippers are among the other teams that have expressed some level of interest in George. The Timberwolves also explored a deal, but acquired Jimmy Butler instead.

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