NBA trade rumors: Why Paul George would go to these 7 NBA teams

NBA trade rumors: Why Paul George would go to these 7 NBA teams

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George is almost certainly being traded from Indiana. Here are the benefits to seven teams he could potentially end up on.

Paul George’s time with the Indiana Pacers is quickly drawing to a close. By all accounts, he won’t be on the team next season. In fact, he might not last the week.

George told Indiana that he won’t be re-signing in 2018 and they are quickly looking to cash him in for the best deal possible. The report has tanked his value, but the Pacers can still get something back from him. In fact, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, there are five teams in talks with Indiana right now: the Lakers, the Clippers, the Rockets, the Wizards, and the Cavaliers.

The Pacers, of course, have the final call on where George plays next season. After that, though, George hits free agency and will be able to make the call himself. George has influence over this process, too. So far, he has made it clear that he would prefer to end up with the Lakers, but telling another team that he would consider re-signing with them might incentivize them to increase their offer.

You remember those “IF this, THEN that” games your mom would make you play at parties? Let’s do that for George.

If George wants to build his brand ...

The Los Angeles Lakers are best for that. There’s a reason that George has named the Lakers as his preferred destination, and it’s probably as much to do his with signature Nike shoe that launched in January. Nike doesn’t actually release many signature shoes for their athletes, and George on the Lakers — still the league’s most popular team — would do wonders for his star profile. Los Angeles isn’t good right now, but it wouldn’t be terrible if George goes there and if its prospects keep developing in the right direction.

If George wants to build his brand and maybe ride banana boats ...

It’s gotta be the Clippers. It’ll put George in Los Angeles and it will possibly put him next to Chris Paul, if he re-signs. With chances rising that LeBron James will leave Cleveland due to the Cavaliers’ managerial problems, then maybe it’ll all end with a James-Paul reunion. And if they could convince Dwyane Wade to join on a cheaper deal, it would be banana boat all day.

If George wants to have fun ...

Go to the Houston Rockets. They’re one of the five teams talking to the Indiana right now, and the Rockets undeniably had a better time this season than just about anyone on the list. George was a 39 percent shooter on 6.6 three-point attempts per game last year, but why not shoot even more of them in a Mike D’Antoni offense?

If George wants to make the talk shows implode ...

End up in Golden State. There’s no way this could happen, and the Warriors don’t really need him, but imagine the takes. (Man, it must be nice to say “don’t really need him” to a 27-year-old four-time All-Star.)

If George wants to be alienated by his team’s owner in 20 years ...

I heard the Knicks are great at that.

If George really likes democratic republics ...

The Wizards, I guess? I don’t know. I can’t come up with any other compelling reasons that George would pick the Wizards over another team, unless he’s just an enormous fan of the Lincoln Memorial or something.

Washington would be really good with George. He’s basically a supersized version of Otto Porter Jr., being a little bit better in pretty much every area. There’s nothing wrong with this idea, and there’s also nothing to make you think George would be convinced to re-sign after spending a season there. And that’s essentially the point if you trade for him.

Anyway, George on the Wizards wouldn’t even guarantee them as the best team in the Eastern Conference. That could be clear, though, if George ends up on another team.

If George wants to win championships ...

Go to Cleveland. Come on, now. Go to the Cavaliers, damnit.

After the managerial dysfunction we witnessed on Monday, this option is seeming less and less likely. But George is exactly the type of player the Cavaliers need, a versatile, two-way superstar who destroys defenses as a spot-up shooter and can stand a fighting chance against Kevin Durant during a potential Finals rematch. If you can make the trade without Kevin Love, great. If not, give him up. Love is a superb player, but he’s just not the right fit for Cleveland — and specifically for Cleveland when it plays the Warriors, which is kind of the only thing that matters. That has been glaringly obvious for a few months now.