Paul George trade – What #Pacers get back matters more than when trade is made

Paul George and LeBron James might be teammates, but the deal will take time to put together.

Timing is everything.

In the stock market, prices surge and recede based upon all kinds of conditions – some seen and understood by investors, and some not.  Get out at the right time, and pay off your house.  Wait too long or pull the trigger too soon, and your kids go to work instead of college.

The same is true when trading pro athletes.

The Indiana Pacers must trade Paul George, one of the 20 best basketball players in the world.  He will be a free agent next summer, and he plans to leave the Pacers – likely for the Los Angeles Lakers.  General manager Kevin Pritchard can’t just drive George to the airport and wave goodbye.

Pritchard needs to get pieces back that will allow the Pacers to contend for an NBA Championship in four years as LeBron James skills erode with age and the Warriors find it difficult to keep everyone happy.

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Patience is a virtue the Pacers can employ as the only deadline they need to respect is opening night.  George cannot be a Pacer as the 2017-2018 season begins, but other than that, slow-playing is acceptable.

Free agency will undoubtedly alter the needs of teams that might be suitors for George’s services.  Carmelo Anthony might secure a buyout that gives the Cavs a shot at signing him.  Gordon Hayward appears to be a likely target of the Celtics.  As assets sign contracts, the losers in the bidding will become anxious.  That will drive the market for George skyward.

Fans would like to know the answer to the question of what the Pacers will get in return for their all-star, but that answer will be more important in 2021 than it is today.

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Be as patient as Pritchard awaits the market surge for George, know George will eventually be gone, and that the Pacers will suck for awhile.  A day will come when the group being assembled will get really good, and then like as a Pacers fan will get fun again.

Patience will be a virtue for Pritchard – and you.  Relax and watch the rebuild.

Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at

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