An NBA superstar named Paul was traded on Wednesday, but not the one who has been linked over and over in the last few weeks to the Wizards. No, it was Chris Paul who got dealt from the Clippers to the Rockets in a deal reported by Yahoo! Sports and not Paul George of the Pacers.
Paul's trade, however, could apply to George and by relation to the Wizards. That's because Paul is also a superstar and also has just one year left on his contract now that he agreed to opt in and head to Houston. George can opt out of his contract following the 2017-18 season and has made his intentions clear to the Pacers that he plans to leave.
Now, George has an extra wrinkle involved that Paul did not. He has indicated he not only wants to leave the Pacers next summer but specifically to join his hometown L.A. Lakers. Though Paul could leave the Rockets after one year, George seems almost certain to leave whichever city he plays in next year.
[RELATED: Wall is lobbying George to come to Wizards]
Still, set that aside and there may be something to learn from what the Rockets gave up for Paul if you are a team trying to land George from Indiana. First, let's look at what Houston gave up:
Rockets receive: PG Chris Paul
Clippers receive: PG Patrick Beverley, SG Lou Williams, SF Sam Dekker, 2018 first round pick
The Wizards already have a point guard, so they weren't interested in Paul. But could they offer something comparable for George? The Rockets' first round pick is likely to be in the late 20s, so that is doable. But in Beverley, Williams and Dekker the Clippers get two proven players who can help them win now and a high-ceiling former first round pick.
Whether the Pacers would accept NBA players like that, or if they seek more picks for the future, is unclear. The Wizards could not compete with teams like the Celtics and Lakers when it comes to picks, given the ones they hold will likely land in the lottery.
If the Wizards offer something similar to what the Rockets gave up, that hypothetical would likely include some combination of Otto Porter, who would have to do a sign-and-trade, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Marcin Gortat or Ian Mahinmi. Markieff Morris has such a team-friendly contract and gets along so well with John Wall and Bradley Beal that it's tough to see them give him up.
The Wizards may still not have the pieces to outbid others for George, but the Paul deal certainly appears to be a good starting point.