BOS probably could have mortgaged their future (picks + Smart + Crowder + Brown) to get a starting lineup of Horford, Thomas, Bradley, George, and Noel. That would have been really interesting for the next 1.5 seasons. At the very least, it’s a roster CLE doesn’t want to face. But after 2018, that roster starts to fall apart (Horford’s age, George’s free agency), and it’s back to mediocrity.
Tough call. I think they would have done it had George been more positive about sticking around long term.