Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has said that he’s trying to recruit Indiana Pacers star Paul George to push for a trade to Washington.
George has indicated that he has no intention of staying with the Pacers beyond the end of his contract in 2018, which has prompted numerous attempts to acquire him in a trade. George has speculated about joining the Los Angeles Lakers, given that he’s from L.A. He’s also reportedly being pursued by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It’s been previously reported that the Washington Wizards were attempting to find a way to acquire George, and it seems like Wall is trying to help that process along by talking to George, a player that he has developed a friendship with.
“I am talking to some guys — Paul. I know his ultimate goal of where he wants to be,” Wall said. “I’m trying to see if we can make something happen.”
More from Washington Wizards
- Washington Wizards Officially Introduce Dwight Howard (Video)
- Washington Wizards Could Be Landing Spot for Dwight Howard
- Washington Wizards Trade Marcin Gortat to Clippers
- Washington Wizards Final NBA Mock Draft Roundup: First-Round Picks
- Washington Wizards 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Profile: Robert Williams
The Wizards were eliminated in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics, but the team showed a lot of promise, with a career year from Wall, and excellent seasons from both Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. The team seems to be on the cusp of greatness, and Wall thinks George could be the player to put them over the edge.
“Look at our team. We are one piece away,” he said. “We have the point guard, we have the shooting guard, we have the center, we have the power forward. Our 3-man [Porter] did great for us. You can’t take nothing away from what he did. But [George] is a guy that can guard [LeBron James] and go back at LeBron. It’s a piece that you’re going to need to win. If you don’t have a guy who can do that, you don’t have a chance…You got to add another star. You got to add another piece. You got to have three guys. And that’s what it’s looking like.”
Both Wall and George were drafted in the 2010 NBA Draft, Wall being the first overall pick out of the University of Kentucky, and George the 10th overall pick out of Fresno State. During that draft, Wall said that he and George became friends.
“We’ve been friends, and we’ve talked throughout the summer,” he said. “He has to make a decision that is comfortable to him. But at the end of the day, you always have to get [elite players]. You have to go out swinging. You got to get a yes or a no.”
George is, without a doubt, a legitimate star in the NBA. Last season, he averaged a career-high 23.7 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game, shooting 46.1% from the floor. Adding him to the already-impressive Wizards starting lineup would immediately turn the team into serious contenders, and a very real threat for the Cavaliers.
When asked what he thought about the Wizards chances of getting George, Wall said, “Right now, I don’t know. Indiana has all the rights to do whatever they want. And if he goes where he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to sign next year.”