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Should Heat trade Winslow, Johnson for Paul George?

ESPN’s Dan LeBatard, the longtime Miami-based radio personality, brought up the subject that will surely dominate NBA chatter throughout the summer: Paul George.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported yesterday that George plans to leave the Indiana Pacers next summer and prefers to sign with the Lakers. He later reported that Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has discussed a trade for George with several teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers.

During the local hour segment of June 19th’s episode, LeBatard said that he believes Miami will engage in the Paul George sweepstakes. He remained leery on whether a Heat trade package featuring Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson would be enough for the Pacers, however. LeBatard also questioned whether Pat Riley would essentially bet on himself, trading for George with one season left on his contract in the hopes of selling him on a long-term commitment.

Trading two young players for a player who may leave in just a year is a risk. But on the other hand, Winslow has thus far failed to develop the shooting stroke that is a prerequisite for success in today’s NBA. Despite all his talents — ball-handling, defense, the ability to make smart cuts — Winslow’s broken shot would hinder his potential to become a good NBA player. Of course, he’s only 21 and could develop a respectable jumper. Who knows where Winslow’s ceiling would reach if he did that — possibly near George’s production?

 Besides the merits of trading away some of Miami’s young talent, there’s the question of whether a triumvirate of Paul George, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside could get beyond the Cavaliers, let alone the Golden State Warriors. I’m not convinced. George has only ever been a Third-Team All NBA player. He’s not LeBron James or Kevin Durant.

What do you think? Should the Heat trade for the four-time All Star, even though he apparently wants to play for the Lakers? Discuss in the comments.

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