LeBron James has appeared in seven consecutive NBA Finals, but John Wall is intent on breaking that streak.
On Monday, the Washington Wizards point guard reportedly became the latest player to join the sweepstakes for Paul George, telling The Undefeated that he is trying to get the Pacers All-Star to join the Wizards.
George has one year remaining on his contract with the Indiana Pacers. However, George is seemingly intent on switching teams as a free agent following the 2017-18 season and now the California native is available on the trade market. The Celtics and Lakers, two teams with high prestige and cap space to spare, are widely viewed as natural landing spots, but Wall feels the Wizards are a perfect match.
“Look at our team. We are one piece away,” Wall told The Undefeated. “We have the point guard, we have the shooting guard, we have the center, we have the power forward. Our 3-man [Otto Porter Jr.] did great for us. You can’t take nothing away from what he did. But [George] is a guy that can guard LeBron and go back at LeBron. It’s a piece that you’re going to need to win. If you don’t have a guy who can do that, you don’t have a chance.”
According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN, the Pacers and the Wizards have had trade discussions, but that “no deal with the Wizards is close at the moment.”
Adding another star would give the Wizards a chance to shake up the status quo. George would join an imposing core that features star guards Wall and Bradley Beal, as well as complementary players Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat. Throw in Porter, who’s set to be a restricted free agent this summer, and you have a Beltway super-team that appears capable of taking on a lineup of James, Irving and Love.
Wall and George were both lottery picks in the 2010 NBA draft and remain friends, according to Wall. George will elicit more pitches as trade rumors reach a fever pitch, but it doesn’t look like Wall will be backing down any time soon.
“He has to make a decision that is comfortable to him. But at the end of the day, you always have to get [elite players],” he said. “You have to go out swinging. You got to get a yes or a no.”