Those are just three potential homes for George; plenty of other teams will pursue him, too. But sacrificing Love to acquire Butler or George - even for a historically bold team like the Cavaliers - would be risky if neither player is prepared to make a long-term commitment to the franchise.
George's future has been hotly debated for months, and it crystalized this weekend with conversations between George and Pacers management. They're one of the five teams talking to the IN right now, and the Rockets undeniably had a better time this season than just about anyone on the list.
Except now the Pacers have all the leverage of an ant picking up a sledgehammer.
George's declaration means the Pacers have to decide whether to trade him this summer or risk losing him without compensation next year. I don't know if they want to make it easy for a Boston or a Cleveland to do a trade for him. The Lakers could be hesitant to pay Randle max money next offseason.
Looking at what the Warriors just accomplished with the addition of Kevin Durant, many say that George would be a ideal counterpart in Cleveland. Many mock drafts are big-heavy in the Pacers draft range and the Pacers could look to add a backup big man with the likes of Jarrett Allen, Harry Giles, Bam Adebayo, Justin Patton, T.J. Leaf, and Ike Anibogu all slated to go around the 18th pick. More than ever, he's the heavy favorite to get his wish to play for his hometown team.
Cleveland would be nuts to trade Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love for one year of George. They are hoping that George sees them as an attractive destination. The duo is still viewed as an integral part of the Lakers' young core.
Clarkson is set to be the odd man out of the starting lineup if the Lakers draft Lonzo Ball. Markkanen, a 7-footer out of Arizona averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, shooting just under 50 percent from the floor. George reportedly told his Pacers teammates recently that he wants to join the Lakers.
Knicks, Phil Jackson open to trading Porzingis: Yes, the guy everyone wanted the Sixers to pick in the 2015 draft is apparently on the trading block. Plus, the Lakers still have the No. 28 pick. Point guard Lance Stephenson is here.
As The Vertical reported, the Cavaliers have already contacted the Pacers about a potential deal for George. The Clippers have expressed interest in George.
He also said, in April, "It's all about bringing a championship to in".
"We knew that we probably weren't going to sell those T-shirts anymore now that he's leaving the team", said Hillary Brown, the manager of The Shop.
However, like the Knicks, the Lakers also face outside threats. You're always better off with two.