Sources: Pacers assessing trade market for Paul George

The Vertical
Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4725/" data-ylk="slk:Paul George">Paul George</a> is averaging 22.3 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Pacers this season. (Getty Images)
Paul George is averaging 22.3 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Pacers this season. (Getty Images)

The Indiana Pacers are gauging the trade market on All-Star forward Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.

The Pacers are working the trade deadline on parallel fronts: Pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension – and soliciting deal offers on George that would signal a rebuild around center Myles Turner, league sources told The Vertical.

Ultimately, the Pacers will have to evaluate the two paths and make a decision before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. There’s no urgency to make a deal for George, unless the Pacers fear the Boston Celtics could ultimately provide Indiana the best possible package of assets in a deal – and think that option could disappear if Boston makes a deal with Chicago for Jimmy Butler.

For teams considering a trade for George, here’s the risk: As a free agent in the summer of 2018, he has considered re-signing with Indiana or joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell The Vertical.

Teams trading for George run the risk of losing the four-time All-Star to a Lakers franchise that will have the salary-cap space to sign him in 2018. The Lakers’ hiring of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations will be an interesting twist to George’s free-agent recruitment, given that Johnson has been something of a George family icon going back to George’s childhood in nearby Palmdale, Calif.

George, 26, is averaging 22.3 points this season.

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