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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Report: Pacers gauging trade market for Paul George

The Indiana Pacers may be open to trading Paul George, after all.

Adrian Wojnarowski of the The Vertical reports that the Pacers have been “gauging the trade market” for George ahead of Thursday’s deadline. However, that does not necessarily mean Indiana is sold on unloading its biggest star. Wojnarowski also notes that the team has looked into the possibility of adding pieces that would help convince George to sign an extension.

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.

George is under contract through next season, and the last thing the Pacers want is for him to walk away and leave them with nothing to show for it. One NBA executive reportedly believes George will end up with another Eastern Conference contender this week, though a trade of that magnitude is always more likely to fall through than be completed.

Simply put, the Pacers are keeping their options open. That’s always a wise thing to do when the market is sizzling.

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