Since the Cavaliers lost the Warriors in the Finals, there has been consistent talk about how the Cavs could improve their roster. One name that keeps coming up is Pacers forward Paul George.
Now, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there is the first report the Cavs and Pacers are discussing a George-to-Cleveland deal. Per Wojarnowski, the Cavs are among the teams discussing a deal with Pacers that Woj describes as a “one-year rental.” George has reportedly told Indiana he will test free agency next summer when his contract expires and he reportedly prefers to play for the Lakers.
In the past 24 hours, Pritchard has become more aggressive in pursuing trades for George, league sources told The Vertical. Pritchard has yet to show an inclination to engage the Lakers, but has discussed deals with several teams – including Cleveland – in which the expectation of teams would be that George is a “one-year rental.” It is unclear how robust those offers to Indiana will ultimately be, given that teams believe he will sign with the Lakers next summer. So far, Indiana is asking for a substantial package of talent and draft picks for George, league sources said. Discussions could extend until Thursday’s NBA draft – or beyond.
It’s hard to imagine the Cavs making a huge offer for George without assurances that he’d re-sign with the team beyond the 2017-18 season. The Cavs, unlike the Lakers and Celtics and other teams who may be interested in George, do not have a stockpile of picks and young talent to offer. Cleveland is already sending out their 2017 first round pick to the Blazer and their 2019 first round pick to the Hawks in addition to a slew of second round picks. As for young players, Cleveland has Kay Felder, Edy Tavares and the rights to Cedi Osman. That combination of picks and players is almost certainly not enough to land a player the caliber of George as
If the Cavs are to make a deal for George, it likely would have to be centered around Kevin Love. Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving would also fit salary wise, but the former doesn’t have as much value on a rebuilding team and Irving is likely untouchable. LeBron James also works salary wise, but there’s a zero percent chance the Cavs would ever trade James.
The question then becomes would the Cavs deal Love, plus picks and Osman, for George without assurances that re-sign? And do they think adding him would be the difference against the Warriors the year before James hits free agency? For Cleveland, that’s all that really matters.