Paul George wanted greener pastures.
But in 2017-18, he did not find them.
Two weeks after the All-Star wing informed the Pacers that he intended on signing with the Los Angeles Lakers once his contract expired, Indy shipped him to Oklahoma City to be Russell Westbrook’s sidekick.
At best, it was a lateral move for George.
The Thunder and Pacers finished with identical records, and Victor Oladipo, the gem of Indy’s haul, arguably outplayed George in the regular season and the playoffs.
So you’ll have to forgive Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard for rubbing George’s doomed search for contendership in his former star’s face when asked if he’d consider adding him in the offseason.
He told ESPN 1070’s Dan Dakich, according to the Indy Star:
“I would want to know first that he would fit us. We’re different now, Dan. One of the things we’re about, we don’t care about big names, we don’t care about big personalities we don’t care about big brands. What we care about is being humble …
“Anybody that fits in, yeah we’re interested … I can’t talk on specific players. But if they don’t fit that, I’m not interested. It’s that simple.
“When we look at trades, free agency and the draft, we want those kind of guys. The guys willing to do the little stuff. Everybody is talented in this league … we think our biggest talent was we played the right way.”
Translation: “We just gave LeBron James his biggest Eastern Conference scare in recent memory, and George played second fiddle to the least-fun star to play with all because he wants to join a Lakers team that finished 11th in the West. Screw that guy, I hope he enjoys the sound LaVar Ball’s voice.”
After what little faith George showed in Pritchard and the Pacers, the GM has every right to savor the moment.