ESPN Paul George did not make the All-NBA teams announced Thursday, which means the Indiana Pacers will likely be unable to sign the All-Star to a contract extension this summer. The vote also had an impact on Utah Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward, who did not make the All-NBA teams. He has the option to be a free agent this summer, but he only has seven years of experience — making him ineligible for the $200 million deal unless he picked up his $16.7 million option for next season.
Indians Pacers star Paul George and Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward were not selected to any of the three All-NBA teams, and because of this, both players are ineligible for max extensions this summer. This means that while both players are under contracts for another season (Hayward is likely to pick up his option which would allow him to make more money next summer), there is a chance that these players could be traded this summer.
Paul George is from Los Angeles, he has openly expressed his desire to play for the Lakers, and the Lakers who have openly discussed their legal desire to add a veteran star want Paul George. Next summer Paul George will be a free agent, eligible to sign with the Lakers, and the Pacers would get nothing in return. So if the Lakers wanted to acquire Paul George now, and not wait until next summer, the Pacers would have to listen to the Lakers offer. The Lakers have the young players to get a deal done, if they offered the Pacers a combination of D’Ango Russell and Brandon Ingram, the Pacers would have to strongly consider dealing George. If the Lakers were to make that deal, a nucleus of (drafted second overall) Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Paul George, Julius Randle, Ivica Zubac, Larry Nance Jr and free agent additions is pretty solid going forward. Russell would see reduced minutes if the Lakers draft Lonzo Ball, and Ingram would see reduced minutes if the Lakers acquired Paul George, so while they would obviously rather keep these young players moving them makes some sense. The Pacers would get two young building blocks, and would get value in return for Paul George, instead of letting him walk for free next summer.
Gordon Hayward’s situation is a little different, the Jazz are a young and talented team, that made the second round of the playoffs this season, Hayward is the key to the future of the franchise. When Gordon Hayward was growing up, he was a huge Purdue fan and season ticket holder for their basketball games, he desperately wanted to play for Purdue but the only coach recruiting him was Brad Stevens at Butler. Suddenly Gordon Hayward hit a growth spurt, he was now 6’8 when Purdue came calling, instead of going to Purdue he honored his committed to Brad Stevens and went to Butler where heee them to the National Championship. Now Gordon Hayward is an NBA star, Brad Stevens is the coach of the Boston Celtics, and there is speculation that the two could reunite in Boston. No NBA team has more assets than the Boston Celtics, so if they blew the Jazz away with an offer of young players and picks for Gordon Hayward, and the Jazz feared Hayward wanted to go to Boston and play for Stevens again the Jazz would have to listen.
These two scenarios are intriguing, and are worth keeping an eye on this summer, I could see a Paul George trade happening since the Lakers are motivated to win now and the Pacers do not want to risk losing George for nothing while I expect Hayward to pick up his option and figure out his future during the summer of 2018.