Cavaliers called Indiana Pacers about trading for Paul George
BY JOE VARDON, CLEVELAND.COM
CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers have inquired about trading for four-time All-Star Paul George, who has informed the Indiana Pacers he intends to leave as a free agent after the 2017-18 NBA season, league sources told cleveland.com.
George, 27, is interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report by The Vertical, essentially making him a one-year rental.
But that one year could be all the Cavs might need to A.) beat the Warriors in the Finals next June, and B.) convince George to stay and play beyond that one season with LeBron James.
George's intention to be a free agent could impact the kinds of players Indiana could get in return. For instance, the Cavs would, under the right circumstances, trade Kevin Love. But Love has two guaranteed years left on his contract. Whether the Cavs would trade him for a player who might leave after one season remains to be seen.
There is also a chance James leaves as a free agent after next season, which would dramatically change the direction of the franchise anyway. It's highly unlikely either James or George would leave Cleveland after a hypothetical championship. For that matter, a source with knowledge of James' thinking said it's far too early to say what he might do next summer, but he is happy in Cleveland.
George averaged 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds for the Pacers this season. He averaged 28 points in a four-game sweep by the Cavs in the opening round of the playoffs.
George's salary for next season is $19.5 million. Love's salary is $22.6 million. The Cavs also have numerous trade exceptions totaling nearly $10 million (though teams cannot use multiple exceptions on the same player).
The early talks between the Cavs and Pacers were done under the direction of Cleveland general manager David Griffin, whose contract expires June 30.