The Indiana Pacers weren’t exactly pleased to consider letting go of superstar forward Paul George, so president Larry Bird asked for just about everything plus the kitchen sink in return for his top-notch playmaker.
Bird reportedly asked for either three of the following four players: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown, plus the Brooklyn Nets first-round draft pick, according to Mike Ortiz Jr. of The Ringer.
The Celtics eventually pulled out of the deal after Indiana would not budge on lowering their asking price, plus the added uncertainty of George signing back with the team come his free-agency period in 2018. It had been reported that the 6-foot-9 swingman was only interested in signing long term with the Pacers or the Los Angeles Lakers, if they were interested in acquiring him prior to the deadline.
The Lakers did not show as much interest as the Celtics in getting a deal done, staying rather confident in George eventually finding his way out of Indiana and signing with them come 2018.
Bird’s asking price was astronomical, basically asking the Celtics to tear apart a roster in order to have Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, and George in the same team — enough reason to make general manager Danny Ainge live to try another day.