The latest Woj Bomb from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical is a report suggesting that the Pacers are gauging the trade market for Paul George. Wojnarowski’s story hardly guarantees that George will be on the move in the next 24 hours, but after we heard for most of the season that the Pacers wouldn’t even consider a trade, it now appears that the team is a little more open to the possibility.
With that in mind, here are a few of the latest Pacers-related notes and rumors:
- George met with Pacers owner Herb Simon in recent days and said he’d love to remain with the Pacers for the long term, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. However, that stance came with a caveat, says Amick — Indiana needs to be capable of contending for a title if George is going to stay. As Amick explains, that’s why the Pacers need to decide very soon whether to be aggressive in fortifying the roster around George or whether to move him and rebuild.
- The Lakers are considered a potential landing spot for George in free agency in 2018, but Amick writes that L.A. may not want to wait that long. New president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is already in the process of trying to land the Pacers forward, per Amick.
- Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net confirms (via Twitter) that Magic Johnson plans to call the Pacers about George before the deadline, and the two heads of basketball operations in Indiana and Los Angeles already know one another pretty well. In the view of Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter), the fact that new George rumors have surfaced shortly after Johnson’s hiring in L.A. is “not a coincidence.”
- Despite the Lakers‘ interest in George, Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times and Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter links) downplay the likelihood of the team going all-in for him at this point.
- If the Pacers don’t move George and look to upgrade their roster, there are a number of options in play for the club. Amick identifies Jahlil Okafor, Arron Afflalo, Allen Crabbe, and Ed Davis as players that Larry Bird has inquired on as the deadline nears. We heard about Indiana’s Okafor talks on Tuesday.