After getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first-round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Pacers were staring down a pivotal offseason. A decision would have to be made on Paul George’s future, which could set the team into a major rebuild. Unfortunately, now Indiana will have to find someone else to make these difficult decisions for them, as Larry Bird has stepped down from his role as President of the team.
Bird will reportedly remain with the team as a consultant, which brings about even more questions regarding the shocking move.
Does Bird feel he is incapable of building this team around Paul George? Has George already made it clear that he has no intention of re-signing in Indiana? Does Bird not want to be remembered as the person who traded away the franchise player?
I’ll try to answer these questions for you with the helping hand of some odds.
Odds Larry Bird serves as a GM/President in the NBA again: 4/5
Bird is still only 60 years old, and was named NBA Executive of the Year (2012). A more favorable situation will open up, and Bird will be a coveted replacement.
Odds Paul George re-signs with the Pacers: 9/1
George has been very critical of the direction the team is headed, and Bird’s resignation isn’t going to help. The four-time All-Star’s heart is set on playing in LA.
Odds Paul George is traded in the 2017 offseason: 1/1
If George isn’t going to re-sign, this is the draft to stockpile early picks. The only issue would be convincing the Lakers to give up their first-round pick when they could just get George via free agency in a year.
Odds on Paul George’s 2018-19 team
Los Angeles Lakers: 1/2
This is the NBA; star players get what they want.
O/U total wins for the Pacers in 2017-18: 36.5
Of course, if Paul George is there, the over is a near certainty. But I’ve taken the mean of their average record with George and the horrors they’ll suffer without him.