Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird is reportedly looking to make a move that can quell the disquiet surrounding All-Star forward Paul George. The Pacers have yet to successfully construct a winning team around the 26-year-old. As the NBA trade deadline approaches, look for the Pacers to acquire assets that mitigate George’s contention anxiety, for fear of losing him in 2018 free agency. Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Bird is sniffing around players like the Trail Blazers’ Allen Crabbe and Ed Davis, among others, to bolster the roster.
Bird is known to be searching for options that would ease George's concerns, inquiring about players like Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, the Sacramento Kings’ Arron Afflalo, Portland’s Allen Crabbe and Ed Davis. Yet if he can’t make significant moves, and if the Pacers (29-28, sixth in the Eastern Conference) seem destined to tread water while George ponders the notion of heading West, then maybe it's time for Bird to turn the page on the Paul George era.
Crabbe is in the first season of a 4-year, $75 million contract that includes a trade kicker, while Davis is in the second season of a 3-year, $20 million contract. If the Pacers are legitimately interested and inquiry progresses to discussion, Davis is the more movable piece. The Trail Blazers appear to be in “shed salary; acquire draft picks” mode right now, so an opening exists for a deal to be struck. Davis has thus far not been able to replicate the individual success he experienced during his first year in Portland.
Trade deadline on the horizon? Here are some options worth noting.Posted by Blazer's Edge on Thursday, January 12, 2017