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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Did Pacers take less to keep Paul George out of East?

Paul George

The return package the Indiana Pacers finally got in exchange for Paul George was quite underwhelming, but some ulterior motives may have been behind it.

On Saturday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman cited a number of NBA executives who believe that Pacers president Kevin Pritchard was “just too hell-bent” on keeping George out of the Eastern Conference and acted out of emotion instead of taking the best offer available.

George was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday for Victor Oladipo, a low-upside 25-year-old on a fairly bad contract, and Domantas Sabonis, a largely unproven and similarly low-ceiling 21-year-old. What’s more is that the Pacers supposedly turned down a monster offer from Boston. They also reportedly declined an offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers (by virtue of a three-team trade proposal with the Denver Nuggets).

Instead, Pritchard settled for a pair of fringe starters and got no future assets in return. Though, the Pacers are said to like Oladipo.

Ultimately this decision may haunt the Pacers far more than trading George to another Eastern Conference team ever could have.



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