Larry Bird
Larry Bird attends a party after the premier of the Broadway play Magic Bird in New York. Reuters/ Allison Joyce

Indiana Pacers are still trying to figure out how to move forward and any decision from here on will be made without Larry Bird’s say. The NBA legend stepped down as Indiana Pacers president but will reportedly stay on as a consultant.

The decision was first reported by the Vertical, leaving the Pacers in a bigger mess. With Bird stepping back, general manager Kevin Pritchard will take over basketball operations. Pritchard will inherit a team that is plagued with issues, including the case of Paul George.

Will the Paul George trade finally happen?

There are implications of Bird’s decision, including the fate of star player Paul George. For some time now, George has been linked to potential NBA trades. A team that has been repeatedly mentioned is the Los Angeles Lakers.

As mentioned in a previous post, Paul George’s Pacers teammates claim that the all-star forward wants to wear the ‘purple and gold,’ an obvious reference to the Los Angeles Lakers. All that got compounded when Indiana fell in the first round of the 2017 NBA playoffs. The Pacers were swept by the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

The recent decision of Larry Bird makes a Paul George trade inevitable considering the Pacers stand to end up with nothing. George is playing the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Why a Paul George trade needs to be made

The fact that the Pacers stand to lose George for nothing is enough reason for Indiana to consider a trade. It could happen in the offseason or anytime before the February 2018 deadline.

George wants to play for a winner and Bird tried to make that happen. With the first-round elimination, it could have been the NBA legend’s sign of surrender. Bird was seen as the main obstacle for George to exit and now that has been taken down.

With George more than likely to exit, the future of Bird is now in question. Will he be content serving as a consultant? It may all boil down to money and the opportunity offered on the table. There are teams in need of credible front office personnel and the Orlando Magic are reportedly considering Bird.

The Orlando Magic are in a bit of a bind themselves. They fired Rob Hennigan after another disastrous season and are looking for new front office personnel. The names of Kevin McHale and Cavs general manager David Griffin have been mentioned but the Magic are not in a rush to fill in the vacancies according to USA Today.