Report: Pacers nixed offer for Paul George from Hawks that included 4 first-rounders

The Indiana Pacers heard offers for their All-Star guard Paul George at the trade deadline, but ultimately chose to stick by him, keeping their core intact. That may have been a mistake.

According to a report from ESPN, the Atlanta Hawks were among teams making an offer for the 27-year-old. The offer? Four first-round picks in exchange for George.

George missed out on the All-NBA team announced Thursday, which ultimately puts the Pacers in a spot where they likely won't be able to sign him to an extension this summer. Had he made the list, he would have been eligible for a five-year deal worth $200 million-plus that would have made him the league's highest paid player. However, now it seems unlikely he'll sign an extension this summer, meaning he's likely to become a free agent in 2018.

The Pacers still could offer the five-year max deal to George after next season, if they wait to see if he makes the All-NBA team. However at that point, they run the risk of potentially losing George for nothing -- similar to what Kevin Durant did to the Thunder -- if he chose to leave money on the table and sign elsewhere.

Rumblings around the league have linked George to the Los Angeles Lakers, as he grew up a fan of Kobe Bryant in southern California.

At the time of the reported offer from the Hawks, Larry Bird was president of basketball operations. He has since stepped down and been replaced by Kevin Pritchard, who has been Indiana's general manager since 2012.

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