Although widely anticipated, the landslide victory of the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Indiana Pacers still left a bitter taste in the mouth of Paul George who earlier had impressive performances against LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Despite the NBA All-Star's efforts, however, it looks like the seventh team in the Eastern Conference just could not compete with the JR Smith team. Will he pull off a Kevin Durant and just join the reigning NBA Finals bet or stick with the Indiana Pacers?
Both the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to move forward to the second round of the NBA playoffs with the Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers out of the running this postseason. While Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson managed to keep their top spot in the Western Conference, the Boston Celtics unseated LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love from their thrones. With this in mind, many believe that a possible third meeting of the Dub Nation and the JR Smith team might not bode well for the East in the NBA Finals.
Rumors are rife that LeBron James finds the current Cleveland Cavaliers roster lacking especially after their disappointing losses before the NBA playoffs. With the super team of the Golden State Warriors seemingly making good on their promise to take back the NBA Finals trophy to the West, the former Miami Heat star is reportedly looking into adding another All-Star in their lineup. Speculations point to the possibility of a Paul George trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers by the offseason.
"One can only wonder whether or not Larry Bird has been paying attention. Because like it or not, the time has come for the Pacers to trade Paul George," said Moke Hamilton of the Basketball Insiders.
He further noted, "Nobody knew back in 2010 that the rookie George would one day emerge as LeBron James' only peer in the Eastern Conference. Nobody knew that, before Kawhi Leonard, it was he who would appear destined to become the next big thing. ... Now, right before his eyes, George has seen his Indiana Pacers go from being a team that challenges James for a right to play in the NBA Finals to one vainly hoping to avoid being swept by him in the first round. The Pacers have taken a few steps backward and seem to be behind scores of teams in the Eastern Conference in the "Who's Next?" pecking order that is filing as James and his supposed demise inch closer."
Combine this observation with the history of LeBron James to push for quality stars to become his teammates in an effort to win back-to-back championships - the same strategy he used to get both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the Miami Heat. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers undoubtedly has the most loaded roster in the league in terms of contracts, many believe that pieces could still be moved to accommodate a potential Paul George trade to their team. Some sources think that the group could follow the footsteps of the Golden State Warriors when they signed Kevin Durant. That is, they could just start with a low-risk contract when they sign a Paul George trade then figure out which pieces to add and remove as they move forward.