Paul George is not leaving Indiana this year. Perfect.
At the beginning of today’s NBA trade deadline, all signs pointed to the 26-year-old star changing scenery with Boston leading the list of likely destinations. After a tense few hours with the Celtics offering the Nets number one pick and the Nuggets “monster offer” for PG-13 nothing stuck.
The biggest news of the day is that according to USA Today’s Sam Amick, George is “hell bent” on joining the Lakers in summer 2018’s free agency unless the Pacers become a title contender. Immediately this news calls on the imagination of superstar PG-13 playing his prime years back home in Los Angeles with a wealth of young developing talent around him. George grew up in California and played his college ball at Fresno State. It would not be a surprise for him to return home to play with the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and the many other young exciting pieces that Los Angeles has to offer.
The Boston Celtics’ failure to secure a deal for George will disappoint fans but will save the city of Boston from weeping in disappointment. Even with George, Boston would have had to lose Jae Crowder and most likely one other important young piece to secure the star forward. Call me crazy, but I still like LeBron, Kyrie, and Kevin Love better than Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, and Paul George. The Cleveland Cavaliers are built for championships with three stars in their primes and a host of veteran shooters and role players filling in the gaps. A Celtics team with Paul George is nothing more than an interesting battle for second place with the Toronto Raptors. Going to Los Angeles could possibly change Paul George’s career if their young talent develops at a high level and they also may be able to get another lottery pick to add to the roster before signing PG.
In two to three years we could be staring at Paul George leading a loaded and wildly athletic squad in annual slugfests with Golden State and San Antonio in the West. This is a much more long-term and realistic solution than going to Boston and adding to the rest of the Eastern Conference’s half-hearted attempts to dethrone the King and get to the NBA Finals. Apologies to Boston, but Paul George and the Los Angeles Lakers won the day.