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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Report: Celtics believe they can sign Paul George to extension

Paul George

The Boston Celtics were reportedly in serious discussions with the Indiana Pacers about a Paul George trade on Thursday, and those talks are not necessarily dead just because the 2017 NBA Draft has come and gone.

The Celtics are still loaded with future first-round picks, and the Pacers may be looking at a total rebuild. It seems unlikely that Boston would give up much in a trade if George is just going to leave as a free agent next summer, but one sports anchor in Boston says he has heard the Celtics believe they can sign George to a three-year extension as long as they also add Gordon Hayward this offseason.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who reported back in March that George would love to play with Hayward, is skeptical of George signing an extension with Boston.

If anything, it seems more likely that there would be a handshake agreement in place. Would Danny Ainge risk giving up a bunch of assets without putting pen to paper? There would obviously be some risk involved.

Skeptics will argue that George wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are the Celtics’ biggest rival. However, George is 27 and the Lakers could be years away from being able to contend with the Golden State Warriors in the West — unless a certain someone joins George in LA. If the Celtics find a way to add George and Hayward to a starting lineup that already includes Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Avery Bradley, George may decide his best chance at capturing a title will be in Boston.

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