While we’re adding to the list of NBA teams vying for the services of Paul George, let’s go ahead and include the Washington Wizards.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers are all thought to be in pursuit of the Indiana Pacers star who told his current team he’s not likely to re-sign in free agency in 2018. But George’s friend John Wall has been trying to recruit him, hoping for his fellow 2010 draftee to push for a trade to D.C., according to the Undefeated.
“I am talking to some guys—Paul. I know his ultimate goal of where he wants to be. I’m trying to see if we can make something happen,” Wall said before the NBA awards show. He added: “We’ve been friends, and we’ve talked throughout the summer.”
The Wizards fell just shy of the Eastern Conference Finals in the playoffs, losing in seven games to the Celtics a round earlier. His vision for the new-look Wizards apparently doesn’t include free-agent forward Otto Porter.
“Look at our team. We are one piece away. We have the point guard, we have the shooting guard, we have the center, we have the power forward. Our 3-man [Porter] did great for us,” Wall said. “You can’t take nothing away from what he did. But [George] is a guy that can guard LeBron and go back at LeBron. It’s a piece that you’re going to need to win. If you don’t have a guy who can do that, you don’t have a chance. …
“You got to add another star. You got to add another piece. You got to have three guys. And that’s what it’s looking like.”
A source told the Undefeated the Wizards are among the teams that have discussed a George trade with the Pacers. Still, if the Wizards whiff on him in the trade market this offseason, expect Wall to continue his pursuit of George into the forward’s free agency in 2018.
“Right now, I don’t know,” Wall said of his team’s chances of landing George this summer. “Indiana has all the rights to do whatever they want. And if he goes where he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to sign next year.”