The never-ending NBA trade rumors continued this week as reporters provided fans with some interesting pieces of information over the last few days.
Big names will be on the move over the next few weeks due to free agency, but we could still see some players under contract change cities sooner rather than later.
Here’s a look at the latest rumors surrounding Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio.
Paul George: Three-Team Deal
According to Marc Stein and Chris B. Haynes of ESPN, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers were discussing a three-team deal involving Paul George:
Stein later reported that Cavs power forward Kevin Love would be involved in the proposed trade:
Joe Vardon of cleveland.com also reported those talks, and his source said that nothing was close to fruition:
Hypothetically, George would be an interesting fit in Cleveland, instantly making the Cavs the stone-cold favorite to win the Eastern Conference. That is regardless of whether last year’s conference runner-up, the Boston Celtics, snag Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin in free agency.
George would slot into small forward, with LeBron James moving to power forward. Combined with Kyrie Irving, they would have the best three-man group in the game.
Right now, a three-team trade with George and Love seems like the most plausible option for the Pacers, as all the reported teams seem to win.
The Pacers start fresh with a new era before the season and an eye toward the future.
The Nuggets obtain a player in Kevin Love who would be a fantastic fit in Denver with center Nikola Jokic and his team on the rise. Together, the two best passing big men in the game should be on highlight reels every night.
Finally, the Cavs make one more giant push for a championship with a new big three before George (presumably) heads to Los Angeles in 2018.
Right now, it doesn’t seem like anything on the horizon, but don’t be surprised if this move (or some iteration of it) eventually develops.
Paul George: Los Angeles Lakers
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported on recent happenings between the Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers:
The Pacers have to get something done before the regular season begins. If George stays on the team into the 2017-18 campaign, the specter of his impending departure will stain Indiana’s rebuilding process and cause nothing but consternation and drama during his last days as a Pacer.
The Lakers aren’t in that position. They have all the leverage and can wait until George becomes a free agent in 2018, keeping all of their assets in the process.
Ultimately, don’t expect anything to develop between the Lakers and Pacers in terms of a deal for George. He’ll likely go to L.A. as a free agent in the summer of 2018, which Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported was George’s preference.
According to Stein, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio is still on the trading block:
The Rubio rumors are never-ending, and it’s hard seeing him in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.
It’s understandable why president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau may want to search for a new floor general, as Rubio‘s shot has only fallen 37.5 percent of the time during his career (and 40.2 percent last year).
To put that latter number in perspective, 58 point guards shot better than Rubio last year.
Still, he is an excellent distributor and seems like the exact type of player to lead this team. Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are going to put up at least 50 shots per game combined, so a point guard who looks for his shot first isn’t going to work here.
The team needs someone who is always looking to pass. That someone is already on the roster.
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