With Paul George letting it be known he plans to leave the Indiana Pacers in free agency next summer, speculation about where he might land has started swirling once again. Obviously, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the driver’s seat with George wanting to play for his hometown team, but the Boston Celtics are in a better position to win now and could try to make another blockbuster deal following their trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Despite the fact that George would give the Celtics a boost next season, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports that Boston isn’t interested in trading anything for a potential one-year rental:
Was told Celtics not interested in giving up anything for one year rental. https://t.co/KlEpArFMmb
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 18, 2017
The Celtics are in win-now mode. Two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas led the team to the top seed in the Eastern Conference and all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Although Boston is a team on the rise in the East, they’re still far behind LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and need another star player to make things interesting in the East.
Over the past few weeks, there have been rumors about the team’s intentions to pursue Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward in free agency. There has also been speculation about the team potentially seeking either George or Jimmy Butler in a trade ever since rumors surfaced heading toward the NBA trade deadline back in February.
If Boston isn’t interested in taking the risk with George, who could simply leave for the Lakers next year, Butler may be the obvious choice for Danny Ainge and company. The Chicago Bulls have been claiming that they want to move forward with Butler as the face of the franchise but could be waiting for the right trade package to come along and reigniting talks with the Celtics might get it done.