Count the Washington Wizards as a team willing to pursue Paul George as a rental.
Most rumors so far have suggested the Cleveland Cavaliers might want to make a move and pair him with LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakes continue to hover in the background as well considering they’re the franchise George continues to eye, and even mentioned when he told the Pacers he’s leaving in free agency next summer.
David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Wizards are now a team to watch in this process:
Washington, to a lesser degree, could fit the bill, too, and the Wizards are looking for a way to make a George deal happen. They don’t have a player of Love’s caliber to put in a deal; they’re not moving Bradley Beal after the 23-year-old just had his best NBA season.
It’s hard to see how the Wizards can do a deal for George without coughing up Bradley Beal in the process. But George playing alongside both Wall and Beal is not only how the franchise hopes to compete in the Eastern Conference, but perhaps how they hope to keep George around for a long time.
Washington’s best hope is the bidding war on George remaining a dud. The Cavaliers don’t have a ton of assets to trade and while the Lakers hold the second pick in the draft, being patient gets them a top-two pick this year and maybe George next year.
George hurt the Pacers by making this public, tanking the trade value. The move has allowed teams like the Wizards to remain in the process without floating assets like Beal, making this quite the intriguing situation.