The Indiana Pacers’ front-office made an interesting move the day after Paul George announced his decision to bolt out next summer. Kevin Pritchard, who succeeded Larry Bird as the team’s president and general manager, reportedly reached out to the Warriors and asked them if they are interested in George.

The Rumor

Veteran NBA insider Ric Bucher of the Bleacher Report reported that Pritchard apparently attempted to create a bidding war between the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have legit interest in George, and the newly crowned champ Golden State Warriors. There’s no telling what was on Pritchard’s mind when he made that call to the Warriors, but the general feeling among NBA insiders is the Pacers’ GM has interest in shooting guard Klay Thompson.

Searching for George’s replacement

George’s disclosure of his plan to leave Indiana next summer actually helped the Pacers find his potential replacement before he gets a chance to leave.

Despite missing the All-NBA selection this season, George averaged 23.7 points on 46.1 percent shooting, all while maintaining his status as an elite perimeter defender last season. There are only few players in this league that can make big impact on both ends of the floor. Thompson appears to be one of them.

Apart from being one of the best pure shooters the NBA has ever seen, Thompson has also built a reputation as a lock-down defender. The All-Star shooting guard is also locked for two more years at a reasonable $17 million to $18 million base salary per year.

Thompson would have been a great starting piece for the Pacers to rebuild their roster, but the Warriors aren’t going to trade one-half of the Splash Brothers for a one-year rental player.

Lance Stephenson at point guard

Regardless of the outcome of the trade negotiations, the Pacers have apparently laid out a plan to make their 2017-18 season intriguing post-Paul George era. Lance Stephenson, who returned to Indiana this season after bouncing around the league over the last three seasons, is reportedly being considered for the role of a point guard.

Stephenson played the shooting guard and small forward positions for most of his career, but he’s no stranger in creating scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Stephenson, 26 averaged 3.0 assists over his six-year NBA career. That number could go up next season if given the reigns to play the point.

The Pacers will still have to figure out whether or not they’ll retain unrestricted free agent playmaker Jeff Teague. Still, Stephenson’s role for next season appears to be set in stone.

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