- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wizards point guard John Wall wants some help in Washington. After missing badly on a bid for Kevin Durant last summer, Wall now wants to convince Pacers star Paul George to be open to playing in D.C.

Wall told ESPN’s Marc Spears he’s trying to recruit George so that he forces a trade to the Wizards.

“Look at our team. We are one piece away,” Wall said. “We have the point guard, we have the shooting guard, we have the center, we have the power forward. Our 3-man [Otto Porter Jr.] did great for us. You can’t take nothing away from what he did. But [George] is a guy that can guard LeBron and go back at LeBron. It’s a piece that you’re going to need to win. If you don’t have a guy who can do that, you don’t have a chance.

“You got to add another star,” he said. “You got to add another piece. You got to have three guys. And that’s what it’s looking like.”

The Pacers, though, would be under no obligation to trade with the Wizards, even if Wall were to convince George. It’s also unclear what exactly the Wizards could possibly trade since outside of Wall and Bradley Beal, the team doesn’t have tradeable assets for a player of George’s caliber.

Trading for George would also be a gamble for the Wizards, considering he reportedly wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers after his current contract expires in 2018.

Wall’s comments could been seen as a slight knock against Porter, who is a restricted free agent this summer. Porter is set for a career-high payday after having his best season, during which he shot 43 percent from 3-point range.

It’s theoretically possible the Pacers and Wizards could do a sign-and-trade swap of Porter and George, but it’s unclear how appealing Porter would be to Indiana. Porter also could easily squash the deal by signing an offer sheet with another team. If the Wizards matched the deal, they wouldn’t be able to trade him right away to Indiana.

Basically, the Wizards’ options to get George are slim. But Wall is hoping anyway.

“We’ve been friends, and we’ve talked throughout the summer,” Wall said. “He has to make a decision that is comfortable to him. But at the end of the day, you always have to get [elite players]. You have to go out swinging. You got to get a yes or a no.”

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