In the wake of Paul George informing the Indiana Pacers that he does not intend to resign when his contract expires after 2017-2018 NBA season, teams across the NBA have been scrambling to figure out a way to acquire Paul George. The Wizards, like any other team looking to compete in the era of super teams, would love to add a player of George’s caliber, and they will have the chance to do so via trade this year or free agency next year. But how realistic is that?
The Pacers are looking for talented young players and draft picks to replace Paul George. Sadly, the Wizards do not have much to offer if they wish to keep their core intact. Neither John Wall nor Bradley Beal should be considered for this trade as they are the heart of the team, so the only viable players to trade are Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre. Porter’s contract has just expired, so he would need to be signed and traded, which would mean that his new contract would be worth less under CBA rules and would hurt the Wizards’ core. The only viable trade that I can think of is Oubre, Gortat (veteran leadership), and a 2019 first round pick, which is nothing compared to what the Clippers, Rockets, or Cavaliers could offer,. However, even if the Wizards acquire George, he would probably stay for only a year. George has stated that he would like to play for the Lakers at the end of his current contract, so the Wizards front office would have to be sure that the trade was worth it or that they could convince George to resign.
2. Free Agency
If the Wizards do not trade for Paul George and he hits the Free Agency market next year, they would have little to no chance to sign him. He would undoubtedly sign for whatever team traded for him or, most probably, his hometown Lakers. Furthermore, signing George would likely handicap the Wizards in their pursuit of DeMarcus Cousins, who would be a bigger asset.
In short, a trade for Paul George is unlikely and would probably hurt the Wizards more than it would help them. A signing in Free Agency is even more unlikely and would be detrimental to the Wizards salary Cap.
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