Paul George was the talk of the NBA last offseason when the Indiana Pacers were forced to trade him. After letting the Pacers know that he would not likely re-sign with the team following the 2017-18 season, the Pacers were able to trade George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Both players became key pieces for the Pacers, who nearly upset LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Now, there is a lot of buzz about a potential George reunion with the Pacers. Indiana fans know that it isn’t likely to happen, but the national media certainly sound like they would love the two sides to work something out. There is no denying that George’s game would fit well with Oladipo and the Pacers, but there is a lot of anger from the fans toward George for the way he left town.
Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers’ general manager, talked to Dan Dakich of ESPN radio about the possibility of bringing George back to Indiana in free agency this offseason.
“I would want to know first that he would fit us. We’re different now, Dan. One of the things we’re about, we don’t care about big names, we don’t care about big personalities we don’t care about big brands. What we care about is being humble. Anybody that fits in, yeah we’re interested… I can’t talk on specific players. But if they don’t fit that, I’m not interested. It’s that simple. When we look at trades, free agency and the draft, we want those kind of guys. The guys willing to do the little stuff. Everybody is talented in this league… we think our biggest talent was we played the right way.”
Dakich, not getting the yes or no answer that he wanted from Pritchard, asked again for a straight answer.
“I can’t talk about a specific player. That would be a very, very big fine. I’m OK answering it, but you have to pay the fine.”
Simply looking at Pritchard’s original answer, the Pacers are not likely to be interested in George. While the fit might be great, the media should probably stop thinking about a reunion. George is not known in Indiana as being a “humble” guy or a “team first” kind of player.
That being said, if he were to shock the Hoosier state and return to the Pacers, he would likely be welcomed back with open arms if he came with the right attitude. George and Oladipo alongside each other could be what the Pacers need to make a serious run at their first NBA championship.
George has also said that he would love to play with Oladipo, which adds even more fuel to the rumor fire. He went as far as to say that if he could pick one player in the NBA to play with, it would be Oladipo.
Expect to hear the Pacers mentioned in connection to George heading into the offseason. The media wants to see it happen, but barring something extraordinary happening, that is not going to end up being the case.