The Pacers Trading Paul George For Nothing May Go Down as an All-Time Bad NBA Trade

By Jason McIntyre

The Atlanta Hawks allegedly offered four 1st round picks – none in the lottery – to the Indiana Pacers for Paul George. They were told no.

Depending on whom you talk to, the Boston Celtics allegedly offered two starters (Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder) and two 1st round picks – at various times – for Paul George. They were told no.

The LA Lakers allegedly offered Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and two 1st round draft picks (27th and 28th) for Paul George. They were told no.

There were other various deals on the table that would have netted the Pacers Kevin Love (they said no) or Denver’s Gary Harris (they said no).

Instead, Indiana settled for a package of … Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. No draft picks. Oladipo has 4-years and $84 million left on his contract. I’m left without speech.

That, friends, is not how you execute a trade. I refuse to buy the silliness about the Pacers not wanting to deal George to a team in the East – uh, he’s going West to the Lakers next year anyway. You get the best package you can to help YOUR team, you don’t worry about the rest.

Danny Ainge and the Celtics just gave the 76ers the first pick in the draft. They’re in the same division. Years ago, the Thunder traded James Harden to the Rockets. Also, same division.

I refuse to buy that logic from the Pacers. This Thunder trade would have been around in a day or two or five. What was the rush to get … nothing? Indiana did not improve its roster with this George trade. Whether you want to blame Larry Bird for not dealing Paul George back in February, or Kevin Pritchard for not doing so before the draft, this was completely botched.

And worse yet, the Pacers could have waited to see what Gordon Hayward does, and then they could have extracted much more from Boston. Imagine the Celtics chomping at the bit to add another Top 20 player, and possibly vault them above the Cavs in the East.

Instead, the Pacers are staring at 3-4 years of mediocrity, with no hope of landing an elite player in the draft with a Top 5 pick. At least with a draft pick or two, regardless of where it was, there was hope for the future. Plenty of excellent players have been drafted late in the 1st round or even 2nd round.

Indiana blew it. Badly.