Paul George has played far below the Clippers’ expectations of him in the bubble and postseason. Through the first four games of the series against Dallas, ‘Playoff P’ is only averaging 15.8 points per game. Add in the fact that George is shooting 29% on 17.3 field goal attempts per game. It has just been an abysmal start to the postseason for PG-13.
Now I am sure this will blow up in my face and we will see the Paul George of old, but while the frustration fire is still bubbling, why not over-react and find some possible trades for PG-13.
Possible Paul George Trades
A Philly Swap
This is not the first time this trade has been mentioned from me. A Paul George-Joel Embiid swap not only betters each team, but it also makes both the 76ers and Clippers more fit to play against their conference rivals. For the Clippers, they get a solidified big man. Montrezl Harrell is a nice piece off the bench, but he is undersized and that can get exposed when facing off against the bigger teams in the Lakers and Nuggets. So adding Embiid allows the Clippers to throw bigger line-ups at both L.A. and Denver.
For the 76ers, they get a piece in Paul George that allows for them to compete with the positionless basketball played by the Celtics and Bucks. Add in the floor spacing he adds in playing alongside of Ben Simmons, and you get an Eastern Conference contender.
Embiid averaged 30 points in the series where he saw his Sixers get swept by the Celtics. After the fact, the Philly big man was pretty vocal on Instagram.
What could this mean for the superstar center’s future? A possible trade? If so, both the Clippers and Sixers should consider the George for Embiid swap.
Paul George Goes Back to Indiana
It is understood that Paul George did not leave Indiana on the best terms, but a trade back to the Pacers can clear up the big-man logjam that Indiana has been facing with Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. If this trade were to occur, the Pacers would run out a starting line-up of Brogdon–Oladipo-George-Warren-Sabonis with solid depth options off of the bench. Not only can that team spread the floor, but defensively it will be one of the best in the NBA.
For L.A. the addition of Turner has a similar effect of the addition of Embiid. Both trades cause the Clippers to add what they have lacked, height. Turner is an elite shot-blocker and makes the Clipper defense even scarier. Add in more depth options for the Clips in Lamb and McDermott, and that team is better than it was before with Paul George.
But the problem with this trade stems from George’s first departure out of Indiana. Him and the General Manager did not leave on good terms, and Paul George is unlikely to end up in Indiana again because of it.
A Magical Swap
Out of the three trades listed, this has the least possibility of occurring. But similar to how the Pacers trade cleared up a rotational logjam, Orlando could do the same thing. Trading Nikola Vucevic for Paul George would create more minutes for first-round pick Mo Bamba and it would allow Aaron Gordon to play his natural position of power forward. Also a line-up of Fultz-George-Isaac-Gordon-Bamba has length, versatility, and could match-up with almost any team in the eastern conference. Paul George gives Orlando a much-needed first option, and for George it allows him to be a clear-cut first option for the first time since his days in Indiana.
As for the Clippers, a proven big man in Vucevic gives them floor spacing and a defensive anchor at the Center position. Orlando could use some change as they have been running in place the past few years, and getting off of Vucevic could be that change. If Orlando wanted to get more out of L.A., Ivica Zubac could be an option in this deal.
Out of the three listed, the Vucevic-George swap seems most reasonable. Both teams could be in need for a change if the ‘Playoff P’ experiment continues to fail, and this is that change. George gets a chance to lead the team in Orlando and Vucevic is on a championship contender.
These are Over-Reactions
Do I think the Clippers move from Paul George? Absolutely not, Kawhi Leonard wanted to pair up with him in L.A. But if this experiment results in the Mavericks bouncing the Clippers in the first round, L.A. has to consider making a move to compete with the Lakers in the West, and that move may have to be moving off Paul George if his struggles continue.
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