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Boston Celtics Receive: Paul George
Indiana Pacers Receive: PG Terry Rozier, No. 37 pick, 2018 first-round pick (via Lakers)/2019 first-round pick (via Sacramento Kings)
The Boston Celtics can blow every imaginable offer for George out of the water. But will they? That’s a negative.
Renting George isn’t an option the Celtics are considering, according to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler. They’ll be at the bargaining table, because they’re always at the bargaining table, but they, much like the Lakers, needn’t bend over backwards to accommodate the Pacers’ asking price.
Other squads will lament whiffing on George. The Celtics? They’ll just resort to using cap space on another star, like Hayward. That’s been the plan all along, and it’ll be difficult, albeit not impossible, to add Hayward while also squandering the salary-cap flexibility it’ll take to reel in George.
Things change if the Cavaliers fall out of the running and the Lakers aren’t coerced into moving on George now. The Pacers, under those circumstances, would be lucky to get for George what the Sacramento Kings brokered for Cousins—Buddy Hield, a top-10 pick and filler.
And that kind of an offer is right in the Celtics’ wheelhouse. After trading the No 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, as reported by Wojnarowksi, they can assemble a package around the Lakers’ protected first-rounder in 2018, which they’ll get if it falls between second and fifth overall. If that pick doesn’t convey, they’ll have the Kings’ first-rounder in 2019.
Receiving a high-end first-rounder by 2019 should pique the Pacers’ attention. They’ll have Terry Rozier and the No. 37 pick to hold them over in the meantime, and if they’re determined for a more immediate return, they can aim for a combination of Boston’s own 2018 selection and 2019 picks from the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.
Once more, the Pacers are settling for a below-market return. Then again, with George halfway to Los Angeles, this is the market in which they’re shopping.