Paul George has made it clear in more ways than one that he doesn't want to play for the Indiana Pacers any longer. While he is under contract for the upcoming 2017 season, the Paul George trade rumors are hotter than ever. Apparently, the Atlanta Hawks were willing to part with a lot to obtain George earlier this season, but no deal ever came to fruition.
According to an NESN report, the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics both reportedly made offers for George at the trade deadline. However, the Hawks made an offer for George that has many fans wondering why the Pacers didn't bite -- especially considering that George will most likely leave next season if he isn't traded beforehand.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst indicates that the Hawks offered four first-round draft picks for George back in February. Yes, four first-rounders! While no one ever knows which players are going to live up to the hype at the NBA Draft and which ones won't, a deal like that could have been good for both teams, especially the Indiana Pacers.
Who knows, it could have ended up like when the Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings. While an NBA deal wouldn't be as big player-wise, you never know who the Pacers could have chosen in those four selections if the deal had been made. After all, the Cowboys drafted the little-known players such as Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson.
So could the Pacers' refusal to pull the trigger on such a deal speak to their desire to keep Paul George for the foreseeable future despite his looming free agency?
That doesn't seem logical when a player has made it clear on multiple occasions that he doesn't want to continue to play for your organization.
Right now, you can find many different Paul George trade rumors on almost any sportscast in the country. However, George to the Lakers seems to be the hottest one at the moment, and it seems like George himself believes he can help the L.A. Lakers return to their glory years.
According to Bleacher Report, the 27-year old who grew up in Palmdale, California, is reportedly starting to become more focused on his legacy more so than money, and believes he can help return the Lakers to prominence if he were dealt to Los Angeles. Growing up as a big fan of the Lakers, and always dreaming of playing for the team he cheered for as a youngster, George has long been linked to the Lakers.
Back in February, Sam Amick of the USA Today reported that George was "hell-bent" on eventually joining L.A. Even though the connections are all seemingly there, that doesn't mean a deal would be struck any time soon, but with the young talent that the Lakers currently have, they have plenty of options to dangle if they really were interested in bringing Paul George aboard.
With youngsters like D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, and Jordan Clarkson, not to mention they also will be selecting a No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, the L.A. Lakers have options.
If the Lakers did want George, but didn't want to depart with anyone, they could always play the waiting game and hope he hits the open market as he is expected to do at the end of the 2017-18 season.
George has averaged 18 points per game over his career, but he has averaged 23 points per game over the past two seasons for the Indiana Pacers.
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