Could he realistically become a legitimate first option on a championship contending team? You know, the kind who teammates pass the ball to and expect to carry the team. He's shown he has the potential to be great, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll capitalize on it and reach his full potential. He's shown he has a great work ethic his first few years, and I think if he stayed hungry and hard working, he should be a lock as a top ten player in the league. Maybe even top five, but that's a little more of a stretch. Opinion on what he'll be in his prime?
i don't know how great he will be but top ten is definitely possible. i would personally build a team around him over carmelo not even including the age factor. at least i know i would have a player willing to improve, will be able to be coached, and plays both ends of the floor rather than just one. imo he is very near if not in the top ten already. i guess george as a top five player can happen, but it would be pushing it like you mentioned. there are some good players and good young players in the league already and a few more stars in the making on the horizon that haven't even entered the league. in three years though, lebron and durant should still be on the top. from there-there are many good candidates. westbrook, rose, irving, wall, rondo, love, harden, curry, cousins? davis? drummond? wiggins? just examples off the top of my head that might compete to be spoken of as top ten players in the league during a paul george peak. i say paul george does crack top ten someday, just my opinion.
The way the Pacers are built he really doesnt need to be that kind of player. He may need to develop that 4th quarter take over ability but as they have so many weapons it would be more about creating than scoring.
Top 10 is definately a possibilty but I dont think top 5, with a lot of great players now and that are you
ng in the form of Durant, Rose, Irving etc.
I think he is better served as a second option, but wasn't he the first option on a team that was one game away from making it to the finals last year? I always thought the Scottie Pippen comp was dead on and George will be forced to take more of a lead scoring role with no MJ on the Pacers, or anywhere, ever again.
Real recognize real when LeBron and George shook hands near half in last years epic ECF. Top 5 is not too crazy think for his potential with his defense, versatility, passing ability, and expanding offensive repertoire.
I agree with @Festar35 that the Pacers are built in such a way that George doesn't need to be a take over kind of guy, but when viewing NBA history, that is not how you win a championship unless you are the Pistons with multiple HOF. In basketball, since there are only a few players on the court, the best player (Magic, MJ, Duncan, Kobe, LeBron, etc) usually decides the game and wins the title. I would love to see him paired with D Rose, Durant, or another dynamic player. If the Pacers ever want to get past LeBron, George will need to be "that kind of player" and become a top 5 player.
With a healthy Rose, I am so looking forward to seeing the rivalry continue between Bulls/Pacers and if one of those teams are able to surpass Miami.
That series is getting salty. Good to watch though. As a Bulls fan, I just feel like the Pacers have done more in the last couple of years to put themselves into a position to challenge the Heat and George is a big part of that. Gar/Pax seem content to wait until next summer when they can decide if they want to amnesty Boozer and bring over Mirotic and perhaps parlay that Charlotte unprotected 2016 pick into something. The only thing I care about is getting a super star to play with Rose. I don't want to hear the Deng and Noah are all stars argument. Those two cannot carry a team, like I think George could, but does not have to in Indy.
Paul George has a lot of work to put in to reach that level, but he's hungry. He's gotten better every season and I don't think success, recognition or money will change his work ethic.
He has all of the tools to reach that level IMO. Last season, he showed the confidence/aggressiveness that really raised people's expectations for him. Being a great defender who can score in transition, catch lobs and make open shots is no longer acceptable. People are now expecting him to develop a complete offensive arsenal and be able to be a go-to guy.
I'm anxious to see him next season. Word is, he's bulked up and added strength.
Last season,i think he elevated himself into the 4th best sf in the nba behind only Lebron,Durant and Melo......