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An insane idea, but work with me.

You’re the Indiana Pacers. You need a LOT of help, but you’ve only got 1 chip to play — Paul George.

Offer the Celtics PG for the #1 pick + a player who you expect to start for you for a few years. Maybe Jae Crowder, maybe Kelly O; probably not Marcus Smart (Boston probably wouldn’t give him up). Not a star, but a solid starter.

Are you underselling on PG? Probably. But it’s OK.

Because you turn around and call the Lakers, and ask them “How bad do you want Ball and his dad’s circus? Because if you want Ball, it’s going to cost you a starter for us to swap picks, and if you don’t do it, we’re taking Ball at #1.”

Now you’ve flipped PG into a starter from Boston, a starter from the Lakers and the #2 pick, because LA has to have Ball, or Magic Johnson is going to implode like a cartoon villain.

End result? Indiana now has Jae Crowder, Julius Randle (maybe Ingram, but probably not), and Fultz pulling the trigger, to go with whoever else they draft with their own pick. If they don’t believe in Fultz, maybe they trade down again and get another player to swap picks with, say, New Orleans, and use that pick for Dennis Smith Jr, instead.

Incidentally, this exact same scenario can play out w/ Chicago for Jimmy B instead of Paul George, too.

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