It hasn't taken long for NBA teams to start reshuffling the deck.
It's still been less than a week since the Warriors finished off the Cavs in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and yet, that's already old news. The task at hand for the 29 other NBA franchises is trying to construct a team potent enough to contend with the reigning World Champs.
If the season began today, most people would still pick the Cavs to come out of the East. With the consensus belief being that Indiana's Paul George could be the missing piece to Cleveland regaining their crown atop the NBA landscape, it makes a lot of sense for them to be eyeing a trade.
That is, except for the fact that George continues to insist that when he's an unrestricted free agent next summer, his sights are predominantly set on L.A.
Now that news is out, let's discuss the elephant in the room: What would you trade for a one-year rental of PG-13?https://t.co/crlYsSDeoc— Blazer's Edge (@blazersedge) June 18, 2017
Even if Cleveland works out a trade for PG, there's no guarantee that he'll stay past next season. Teams interested in a trade right now would essentially be renting his services for a year.
However, it's still increasingly likely that a trade will happen. With George having made it explicitly clear that his days in Indiana are numbered, it wouldn't make sense for the Pacers to hold onto him for next season just to lose him for nothing. Indiana's surely going to seek some compensation for a player of George's caliber, even if that means trading him for significantly less than he's worth.
At the end of the day, it's still something. And who knows, any team that trades for George is likely to have the upper hand on L.A. when George ultimately goes to make his version of "The Decision" come next summer.
He'll have already spent a year with that new team, and if the team is good, and is winning, it may make more sense to George to stay put than to hop onto a Lakers team that appears to still be a long ways away from contending.
Keep in mind that the Lakers do not have max money ($30.6) next summer to sign Paul George outright.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 18, 2017
Cleveland should absolutely still make a move for George for the simple fact that people change their minds all the time.
Who's to say that once George gets around LeBron and Kyrie, and is winning that he'll still want to trade that for a little L.A. sunshine?
Even if he does, acquiring George for one year may be the best shot Cleveland has at overtaking the Warriors. With it being likely that Cleveland could get him for a heist, there looks to be no harm in trying it out for a year.
Just don't give away too much. Even with all this L.A. talk, Paul George to Cleveland still makes a whole lot of sense.