As Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, Boston is setting itself up to sign free agent Gordan Hayward, while then adding George as soon as the ink on Hayward's signature dries.
"Wojnarowski said that the Celtics have a growing confidence" that they could get George to sign a contract extension instead of becoming a free agent following the 2017-18 season. They would need to shed some salaries.
Wojnarowski did note there's one big snag in Boston's plan when it comes to a potential deal for George, as the Pacers "may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency" when the Celtics could be ready to move. Staying healthy always has been a concern for the Clippers forward, and he hasn't played 80 or more games in a single season since 2013-14.
After he was drafted ninth overall by the Jazz in 2010, Hayward emerged as the franchise's newest superstar. IN is adamant on receiving young players and future draft picks, which are both things that Boston has plenty. In fact, they don't want to wait for free agency to begin either.
IN has been focused on trying to complete a deal with Boston for George, league sources told The Vertical. "Indiana has been focused on trying to complete a deal with Boston for George, league sources told The Vertical". The two sides were getting close to a deal on draft night but they were unable to get a third team sufficiently involved to reach an agreement.
The Pacers are fielding trade offers for Paul George.
George, 27, has made clear his desire to leave the Pacers next off-season, which jump-started Indiana's trade plans. Griffin, of course, would be leaving a lot of money on the table if he chose to bolt Los Angeles.