Paul George missed out on making any of the All-NBA teams Thursday, so even though it’s been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers are “confident” they don’t necessarily have to give up anything to trade for him and can just wait for free agency, speculation about his next destination is going to kick into overdrive.
George not making any of the All-NBA squads means that the most the Indiana Pacers can offer him on an extension is a five-year deal worth about $177 million, versus the four-year, $130 million deal another team could offer him, a difference of only around $3 million annually.
If the Lakers are confident they can get George for nothing other than the salary they’ll pay him in free agency they should be patient, but the downside of that strategy is the possibility the Pacers trade George elsewhere and he ends up happy in that new destination.
For some reason someone asked former basketball player and wheelchair aficionado Paul Pierce about that scenario, and when Bleacher Report aggregated Pierce’s answer, George (kind of) responded in a since-deleted tweet:
Does Paul George want a trade to the Celtics or did he pick one hell of a tweet to butt-reply? pic.twitter.com/tU7EskkmOQ— Jay King (@ByJayKing) May 18, 2017
Now, this was most likely George seeing a tweet and just accidentally responding with no words, but what if it wasn’t? What if this is all part of George’s elaborate plan to get to the Lakers. Stay with me here.
Step One: George works out with Julius Randle, who tells Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka that they’re a great fit together.
Step Two: George responds to a tweet about a Celtics trade rumor.
Step Three: Pelinka (who almost certainly has mobile alerts turned on for George’s tweets) sees the Bleacher Report tweet, realizes the Celtics could trade for George, and immediately calls the Pacers and puts together a deal.
Step Four: George gets to spend the rest of his summer in Los Angeles and play for his hometown team.
Seems like a foolproof plan, even if George butt-dialing that tweet about the Celtics is probably more likely.