The Indiana Pacers saw their stint in the NBA playoffs 2016 end courtesy of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors. As the Dwane Casey team battle it out against the Miami Heat of Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside, the Paul George squad is on the brink of rebuilding their team to make up for their disappointing performance this NBA season. Sources claim that the Indiana Pacers are targeting one very big change next year - the exit of George and the entry of Kevin Durant in the roster.
The free agency of Kevin Durant has been one of the most widely talked about campaigns in the NBA today. Should the Indiana Pacers truly make a run for the OKC star, then they will have to battle other basketball teams who are interested with the 2014 NBA MVP. The list includes the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. Given the caliber of the teams gunning for Durant in the free agency market, will it be the right decision for the Indiana Pacers to release George?
"Somebody asked me the question, 'Do you expect to be in the playoffs?' And I thought he was kidding," shared Larry Bird in an earlier interview after the Indiana Pacers was eliminated by the Toronto Raptors. He added, "I expect to be in the playoffs and make it through a few rounds and then see how good our players really are. Because the first round is always nice, but you don't start really getting into the playoffs and know what the playoffs are about until you get to the Eastern Conference finals and the Finals. That's when the basketball really starts."
To achieve these goals, Bird and the front office opted to axe Frank Vogel. The former Indiana Pacers head coach, who was reportedly shocked with the decision, is the man behind the likes of Paul George. Does this mean that the veteran will be out soon? Can the Indiana Pacers actually be considered a potential landing spot for the elusive Kevin Durant?
"We'll do what's necessary to get the right guy," shared Larry Bird of the exit of Vogel. Does this principle apply to his star player as well? At the moment, no official comment has been given by any of the parties involved. For his part, George sent a heartfelt goodbye to his former coach and mentor.
"To one of the most influential men in my life! Our relationship and love doesn't end here," shared George via Instagram. He added, "Thank you for the journey and the memories we shared together! This pic sums up our relationship the best.. You talk I listen... And we figure it out together! Look forward to the wink the first basket I make while you're coaching against me #Togetherness"