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#pounditFriday, October 30, 2020

NBA exec thinks Paul George could be ‘sleeper’ trade for Celtics

The Boston Celtics missed out on trading for DeMarcus Cousins over the weekend, though reports have indicated they were never actually interested. Now that Cousins has gone to the New Orleans Pelicans, most of the rumors regarding the Celtics have revolved around Jimmy Butler.

But what about Paul George?

Two NBA executives who spoke with Frank Isola of the New York Daily News expressed doubt that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge would trade the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round draft pick — which will likely have the best chance of turning into No. 1 overall with how bad the Nets have been — for Butler. However, one exec could see Ainge moving the pick in a deal for George.

“With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,” the executive told Isola. “He’s one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

“Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and (Indiana Pacers president) Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.”

George’s name has come up quite a bit in trade rumors, though one report claims the Pacers are willing to give up assets to give George some help, not move him. But if they were going to trade their star player for a package that includes a first-round draft choice, the Celtics have the most attractive pick at the moment.

With the way Isaiah Thomas has played this season, many feel Boston is the team with the best chance of knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. George would certainly help the Celtics, as would the player who created a frenzy on Tuesday morning by sending this cryptic tweet. If Ainge thinks he can improve his team with a blockbuster deal, he won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.

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