The Pacers should have traded George for Deangelo Russell and the #2 pick (Ingram). Then they could build around those two along with Myles Turner. Rather than trading George Hill for a veteran, they could have traded him for assets or mid first round pick. They could have done the same with Ellis, albeit waiting for the deadline, when a contender would be more likely to part with assets for another guy who could contribute right now.
I think the Lakers would have been more inclined to do so before free agency, so they could use Paul George to recruit another in his prime star. At this point, the Lakers don’t have an incentive to trade young guys for a prime star because the free agent class next year is weak with Westbrook’s extension.
The Celtics were smart to sit out making major trades this summer because now they can use the 2017 Brooklyn pick to pit Indiana (George), Chicago (Butler), OKC (Westbrook) and Sacramento (Cousins)against each other for who will accept the Brooklyn pick without having to sacrifice Crowder, IT, Smart, or Bradley. If no one bites — they can throw in AB. I 2 or 3 of those teams will get desperate and if you can get a top 3 pick in a loaded draft, they’d have to do it.