The Washington Wizards have entered the sweepstakes to acquire Indiana Pacers forward Paul George via trade.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge revealed in his Monday Morning Tip that the Washington Wizards are trying to find a way to acquire NBA superstar Paul George in a trade. The 27-year-old has been linked with several teams including both Los Angeles teams (Clippers and Lakers), Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and now Washington Wizards.
"Wizards small forward Otto Porter also had his best season and would almost certainly have to be in a potential George deal for it to make any sense for Indiana, but he’s a restricted free agent and would lose tens of millions of dollars if he agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with anyone this summer (fewer years, smaller yearly raises) instead of re-signing with Washington. There’s literally no incentive for anyone to do a sign-and-trade anymore, which was the point of changing the CBA — to make it easier rather than harder for teams to keep their own players."
After a glance at the Wizards roster, I don’t see how the Wizards could acquire George without dealing Porter to the Pacers or elsewhere. However, as Aldridge mentioned, he is a restricted free agent and with the latest changes to the CBA, Porter would lose money if he didn’t re-sign with the Wizards instead of a sign-and-trade deal, so that makes things tricky.
After Beal inked a 5-year deal worth $127 million last offseason, it’s almost certain the Wizards wouldn’t deal Beal. In addition to Porter, another likely trade chip is center Marcin Gortat, who voiced his frustration following the conclusion of the Wizards season or possibly forward Markieef Morris.
The four-time All-Star, who averaged a career-best 23.7 points last season along with 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists, would be a massive upgrade for the Wizards with the trio of George, Wall and Beal. George would bring playoff experience to the Wizards and much-needed leader in the final minutes of games.
However, George’s team preference may lead him to the opposite side of the country to the Los Angeles Lakers. According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, George has informed the Pacers that he intends to leave the franchise during the 2018 offseason with sights on signing with the Lakers.
Apparently, that’s not stopping the Wizards who now join the other NBA teams in the attempt to secure one of the greatest players in the NBA today.