There's a lot of speculation about Paul George's future with the Pacers. Around the trade deadline, team president Larry Bird openly discussed how they were fielding calls for the All-Star, but eventually determined they wouldn't get enough in return to make a deal.
With George set to be a free agent in 2018, there's more talk about a potential trade in the offseason, or at some point before next year's deadline. It's been widely reported that George would like to play for his hometown Lakers, but he's also expressed interest remaining in Indy.
Perhaps in an effort to retain George, the Pacers signed Lance Stephenson last week. The two players are good friends, and it's not far-fetched to think Stephenson was brought in as a way to keep George.
When he was asked about George's future, Stephenson toldQuery & Schultz he doesn't have any doubt he'd remain a Pacer. And if he did plan on leaving, he'd go to extreme measures to keep him.
"I think he’s staying. I don’t think he has any doubts about coming back. So I’m not worried about that," Stephenson said Wednesday.“I got to start working [on keeping him]. I got to get all my guys and tie him up in a chair and be like ‘you can’t leave!’ You ain’t going nowhere, Paul George."
The strategy is similar to what the Clippers did do DeAndre Jordan in free agency a few years back when they locked him in his house.
Don't agree with the furniture layout but I'm not an interior designer. pic.twitter.com/23PNgQB88z— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) July 9, 2015
Obviously Stephenson was joking about that, but he could play a role in keeping George around. Before the team signed the explosive guard, George complained about there not being a winning culture in the locker room. Stephenson changed that immediately with his exciting plays against the Cavaliersand Raptors.