When it comes to Paul George NBA trade rumors, two more NBA teams are popping up in the speculation of where he’ll play. The Los Angeles Lakers had been mentioned quite often as a future destination for the NBA All-Star, with the Los Angeles Clippers or Boston Celtics other possible landing spots. However, recent rumors are pointing towards George heading to a team that made the playoffs this postseason, or a team that nearly made it into them. Could Paul George end up as a good fit on the Miami Heat or Portland Trail Blazers?
In a recent report via Fox Sports, it was noted that NBA analyst Chris Broussard discussed how another team is better for Paul George to play for over his options of the Celtics, Lakers, or Clippers. That team is Pat Riley’s Miami Heat squad, a team that missed the 2017 NBA Playoffs due to losing a tiebreaker situation with Chicago. They were one of two teams that edged out Miami, with George’s Pacers being the other.
Broussard’s reasoning is that if George wants a chance at a championship, he’d want to stay in the Eastern Conference. He also mentioned that Miami offers him a winning culture, as they’ve achieved championships before.
“There’s only a handful of teams that tend to win championships, and [the Heat] have got a coach. And obviously, you’ve got Pat Riley there. Look at when he was with Indiana, when they were a great team. They had a shot-blocker, Roy Hibbert. Now, you got Hassan Whiteside, who’s better than Roy Hibbert. You had a good point guard, George Hill. Goran Dragic? Not the defender that George Hill was, but certainly a better offensive player and playmaker.”
George finished the regular season with averages of 23.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. He’d give the Heat a top 20, possibly top 10 scorer, as Goran Dragic’s 20.3 points a game ranked at No. 31 this past season. It would also make for yet another “Big Three” combo in the league, but this time consisting of two guys who aren’t necessarily All-Stars that are still doing quite well in the league.
As Broussard went on to say, adding George to the Miami Heat might not make them better than Cleveland. However, he believes it would put them pretty close to the Cavs in the playoffs based on the talent of the Heat’s starting lineup as well as the role players.
Another option suggested for Paul George throws him back to a Western Conference team, but not the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead, a Sportsrageous report indicated that the Portland Trail Blazers could come calling. That will happen if the team listens to what their star guard C.J. McCollum said as a response to a fan question on Twitter.
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) April 27, 2017
George would certainly make an interesting addition to Portland’s lineup. In that scenario, he’d join a team that has been reaching the NBA Playoffs in recent seasons but failing to get as far as they’d like to. The team was most recently swept 4-0 by the Golden State Warriors last week, giving them another early exit. With George added to the roster that already includes McCollum and Damian Lillard, it could make for a potent scoring attack.
With Larry Bird recently stepping down as the Indiana Pacers team president, it means that new General Manager Kevin Pritchard will start to make moves. That includes how the Paul George free agency situation is handled. George will have a player option once the 2018-19 NBA season rolls around where he could become an unrestricted free agent. With that in mind, the Pacers may look to get some value in exchange for their superstar rather than simply letting him walk on his own terms.
Will Paul George remain a member of the Indiana Pacers through the 2018-19 season, or end up with a new team before then?
[Featured Image by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]