Hawks reportedly offered Pacers four first rounders for Paul George
In the last few days, the rumor mill has once again heated up around Indiana Pacers forward Paul George concerning his future with the team. There is much belief that George will be on his way out after he opts out of the $20.7 million player option for the final year of his contract next summer.
With that in mind, it has once again stirred up more trade rumors involving the All-Star forward that have occurred over the past few months. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Pacers received a huge offer from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for George prior to February’s trade deadline.
Several teams made trade offers for George in February, including the Atlanta Hawks, who offered four first-round picks in exchange for him.
It’s clear that George is a much-desired player around the league while also showing that the Pacers were willing to listen to offers. However, the fact that the Pacers decided against taking a trade offer of four first-round picks demonstrates how much they value George along with the level of faith that he will sign a new long-term deal with the team.
Indiana has remained firm on that stance even following the season with both head coach Nate McMillan and general manager Kevin Pritchard each voicing their strong desire to keep George in a Pacers’ uniform well beyond his current contract.
That said, it’s something that is beginning to look bleaker with each passing week due to his ever-growing aspirations to join his hometown Los Angeles Lakers once he hits the free agent market.
The Pacers’ chance of re-signing George took another hit on Thursday as George became ineligible for the “designated player” rule under the new CBA that allows for the current team to ink its star player to a deal worth north of $200 million. They must reach any of the criteria that consist of NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team, All-NBA Third Team.
In George’s case, he wasn’t named to any of the All-NBA teams making him ineligible to receive a max deal of five years worth $210 million, which would have been the largest contract in league history. With that out of the window, it now puts Indiana in a potentially vulnerable position.
Ultimately, it’s now quite clear that if the Pacers were to explore trading George again the price tag to acquire him is quite steep.