Woj: Lakers Taking Major Risk Letting Boston or Cleveland Rent Paul George

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.

George plans to play out the 2017-18 season with IN, but wants to give the organization the chance to plan appropriately for its future - which George told the team won't include him, league sources said. If the Celtics do make a big trade, Jimmy Butler seems to be the more likely target. IN will have to balance the desire for a huge return with the knowledge that teams aren't going to pay top dollar for what might be a rental in George, but the Rockets may not fit their needs.

Complicating matters is the widely held belief across the league that George wants to return to his native California to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

All of those are playoff caliber teams, and a winning environment could potentially give George a change of heart about his interest in joining the Lakers. But at the same time, the Pacers shouldn't expect huge trade offers from teams given that George is expected to sign with the Lakers next summer. Bringing on George and getting rid of Paul or Griffin would possibly decrease the Clippers' chances of competing with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. Any team looking to trade for George knows this, and their offers will reflect accordingly.

With George, the Cavaliers are putting more pressure on the other team because of George's ability to create his own shot and move without the basketball. He also spent several years under Bird in IN, which gives him the familiarity of the roster and George to make an informed decision. The best-case scenario for IN is getting something from the Lakers, who want to make sure they get George instead of waiting for free agency. When Paul George's contract is up next spring, he's planning on moving out west. The Cavaliers only won one game in the Finals and by adding George it would help the team. That's all that needs to be really be known. Everything else is, again, what I've been dealing with. I'm a Pacer. There's no way around that. It just depends on if the Lakers want to intervene in trade talks, which reportedly might not happen until a team such as the Cavaliers becomes close to acquiring the All-Star forward.

After Beal inked a 5-year deal worth $127 million last offseason, it's nearly certain the Wizards wouldn't deal Beal.

  • Julie Sanders