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NBA trade rumors: Latest on Markelle Fultz, Paul George, more

A busy, transaction-filled weekend in the NBA looks like it's just a precursor to a busy summer.
Indiana Pacers guard Paul George. (Photo: Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers star Paul George has already told his team he will head to free agency in 2018 and not return to the team. Now the Pacers will try to trade him before he walks. (Photo: Getty Images)

NBA fans didn't have to wait too long after the finals for the excitement to ramp back up. 

Over the weekend, the Boston Celtics dealt their No. 1 overall selection in this Thursday's draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for this year's No. 3 pick and a first rounder next year. 

There is no mystery to what the Sixers will do with the first pick either as they will take Washington guard Markelle Fultz

It looks as though it was the first big domino that will fall in a busy summer filled with transactions and surprising moves. 

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Here is the latest chatter around the league involving Fultz and Indiana Pacers star Paul George.

Celtics weren't sold on Fultz

All signs pointed to Fultz wearing green and white in Beantown soon. 

The Washington product said he would only work out for the Celtics and later admitted that he felt as though he belonged in Boston

Heck, fans were even buying No. 20 Fultz Celtics jerseys

But something went wrong over the past week that seemingly scared Boston away and prompted them to deal that No. 1 pick to the 76ers. 

According to ESPN's Michael Eaves, there were "some within the Celtics organization" that "were not impressed with his workout." 

 

Philadelphia recently hosted Fultz and are big fans of what he could provide to their young, rebuilding roster, which made the deal a no-brainer for them according to Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer. For the Celtics, a franchise that was just in the Eastern Conference finals last month, they could either hold on to the picks or continue to wheel and deal.

Given general manager Danny Ainge's track record, it's almost a lock that he's not done yet and there are some major stars like Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls that could be in play. 

 

Let the PG sweepstakes begin

Most folks around basketball, minus those in Indiana, would have already told you that Paul George wasn't sticking with the Pacers for long. But Sunday provided a swift punch to the gut for Indiana fans as George said he will not return to the team following the 2018 season, as first reported by the Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski

His preferred destination of choice? His hometown Los Angeles Lakers. 

George's actions weren't to stir the pot or create drama. In fact, he tried to do right by the Pacers, the franchise he spent the first seven seasons of his career with. By telling them, he gave president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard the chance to trade him for some kind of return instead of letting him just walk in free agency.  

The obvious problem is that the Pacers' return might be limited if teams around the league view George as a one-year rental before he heads to Los Angeles next summer. Regardless, it looks as though talks are already heating up. 

Per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports, Pritchard and the Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a deal involving George, but nothing serious has come of it just yet. However, if things do indeed start gaining traction, O'Connor reported that the Lakers would "parachute into" discussions with the Pacers to accelerate the process of George donning purple and gold. 

 
 
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