It wasn't a surprise yesterday when fringe All-NBA candidate Paul George didn't make any of the three All-NBA teams. George was the seventh-highest finishing forward, but had to be among the top six (LeBron, Kawhi, Durant, Antetokounmpo, Butler, Green). That means that the Pacers can't pay George the "super max" - a five-year, $210 million deal which is part of the new CBA to help teams retain their star players - this summer.
So, without that huge money advantage, should the Pacers deal PG?
Indiana can still offer George $180 million (five years), which is more than other teams can offer on the open market in 2018 ($133 million over four years), but they'll lose out on the extra $30 million to lure him back. Boston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia all showed interest in PG last year, and ironically, those three teams are slated to pick 1-2-3 in next month's NBA Draft. Other teams, including the Clippers, could get into the George mix as well, as the in-his-prime All-Star forward is still an attractive trade piece.
What would you do if you were Kevin Pritchard? Here are your three options:
- extend Paul George this summer (ideal option, in my opinion)
- trade Paul George this summer
- keep Paul George for next season, see if he makes All-NBA in 2018 (would then qualify for super max), then extend him next summer
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