The Indiana Pacers are not going to wait for Paul George to walk to the open free agent market before they decide to build a solid team around him. The Pacers are willing to give up a first-round pick in a trade in the next few weeks, ESPN reported.
The Pacers are trying to pander to George so he doesn’t leave them come the offseason in two years. Indiana giving up a pick would allow a team to get two cracks at picking a solid player in a deep draft class.
George has an opt out clause after the 2017-18 season. If he makes an All-NBA team this season, he would qualify as a “designated player” and be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million contract. If he didn’t get a selection, he would be able to make $179 million over five years with the Pacers and $133 million over four years with any other team.
NBC Sports named Brook Lopez, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and P.J. Tucker as possible trade targets for the Pacers.