Hi everyone, let’s shoot down those dreams of Paul George in a Wizards jeresey before they start making you feel all warm and bubbly inside. Here are three reasons why Indiana would not be interested in Washington’s trade package:
Otto Porter would have to want to be a Pacer
The only way a trade for Paul George would work is if the Wizards offered Otto Porter to the Pacers, but Porter is a free agent this summer. So the Wizards would need to convince him that the Pacers, who are about to go into a post-Paul George rebuild, are the best team to spend the next four years of his life with. Otherwise, Porter could just sign an offer sheet with another team and once he does that, Washington can no longer arrange a sign-and-trade deal.
You could argue most of the other teams who might consider offering max money are in similar predicaments. But if all things are equal, then other factors like the team’s location would probably push Indiana down the list on places Otto Porter would want to go in free agency.
The Pacers would have to look past other trade offers that cost less money
The thing with superstar trades is even if you don’t get fair value in terms of talent, at least they get salary relief to help start their rebuild. The Pacers would not get that in a trade for Otto Porter. In fact, Porter would likely end up making more in the first year of his deal than George is making in the last year of his deal, thanks to the cap spike. It would make a lot more sense for the Pacers to try to get back someone younger and cheaper, like a D’Angelo Russell, Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram, etc. who is younger and won’t take up much room on their cap sheet for a few years?
Washington’s first round picks wouldn’t add much value to a potential deal
Remember, Washington can’t trade their 2017 pick because it was already sent away to the Nets for what has become the 22nd overall pick. Barring an absolute disaster, you’d have to assume the Wizards pick would be even lower in 2018 and the foreseeable future with a Wall-Beal-George core. So Washington could throw two or even three first round picks in a potential deal, they’re not going to move the needle much if they’re all projected to be late first round picks.
Bottom line: Just like it’s been for the past two years, Washington’s best hope of adding a star is by developing the players they already have and/or hoping DeMarcus Cousins winds up on the trade block again.