Paul George is a superstar. He can singlehandedly change the outcomes of games and has been doing so for the Indiana Pacers for the last few years. When a player reaches that kind of level, the hope is that by doing so, they might prevent a situation in which they have to wonder who they might be playing for in the next week, day or on a trade deadline day, hour.
Thursday afternoon marked the NBA’s trade deadline and for a good portion of it and the preceding week, George’s name has been at the center of trade speculation. Even worse, the vast majority of the speculation had him, a Southern California boy going to Boston.
That’s simply unacceptable.
Most indications were that George, his front office (headed by Larry Bird) and Indiana ownership were on the same page regarding how they might handle Thursday festivities.
His comments after having not been traded, however, paint a very different story.
Paul George to reporters in Indianapolis pic.twitter.com/zjPHGhOYpD— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 24, 2017
When a star player spends days directly connected to a team other than the one he’s currently playing on, as George was to the Lakers, there’s plenty of reason for everyone within his current organization to freak out a little bit.
One would hope that would open an avenue for communication, but that certainly does not seem to be the case based on George’s reaction.
When asked about those Lakers rumors, this is what he had to say:
Just to be clear, that certainly is no definitive denial of said rumors. George obviously wouldn’t come out and say that he looks forward to playing in Los Angeles seeing as he has another full year left on his contract in Indiana.
But these absolutely are not the quotes of someone thrilled to be where he currently he is.
All this speculation is pretty worthless right now, seeing as we have a few months before even the lottery takes place. From there, both the Pacers and Lakers will have more of an idea what can be put on the table if George’s relationship with Indiana continues to worsen and a trade becomes imminent.
Still, these quotes, combined with the speculation give Laker fans reason to see some kind of light at the end of the tunnel they have been over the last few years. After all, no one wants to linger in dark moments of uncertainty.