WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards were one of a half dozen or so teams linked to Indiana Pacers star Paul George in the last week, as news broke that he had no intention of staying in Indianapolis after his contract expires.
Apparently, that’s pretty funny to Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who laughed out loud during his interview with The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan:
Not only was the question funny enough to draw laughter, it also prompted a coach-speak line about always exploring options to improve the team. Brooks sounds delighted to deliver the line while barely containing further laughter.
“Uh, well, we’re always trying to improve the team. Uh, we’re always going to look for ways to improve the team,” he said. “We owe that to our fans, we owe that to ourselves, and I think our guys…we love–I love our team. I love coaching our guys.”
With no further context available for the laugh (and certainly no more to be offered), fans are left to draw one of three logical conclusions:
- The trade was never going to happen. To be fair, the Wizards are a logical location for George to land because they have some young pieces that might intrigue the Pacers. That does not mean that there’s any fire behind that smoke. It could be just connecting dots by NBA analysts like David Aldridge to say that the Wizards need an upgrade in talent. However, Aldridge does use the line, “the Wizards are looking for a way to make a George deal happen.” Pure speculation or insider knowledge?
- A trade could very well still happen. Nothing happened during the NBA Draft, which means that anyone interested or in play before the draft is likely still interested or in play. Unlike most other teams with a draft pick, the Wizards are largely unchanged by the draft, whereas the dynamics and trade bait by other teams have changed considerably. Any potential deal will likely now center around current players on the Wizards roster and future draft picks. It could be “funny” because Brooks doesn’t want to tip his team’s interest.
- Brooks just figured out that punchline. In this scenario, his laugh followed the realization of, “Oh, that’s what that means? I get it.” Scott Brooks is a smart guy, but everyone has times where they understand a joke days later. It could be something he saw on Seinfeld, a quip from 106.7 The Fan, or something he overheard from the new summer intern, Gavin. Who knows? He laughed at the perfect time to make it sound like he thinks Paul George to D.C. is funny. It’s not funny. But that joke was funny.
Regardless, George is likely still available, and the Wizards’ position on his availability is likely unchanged after the draft. So go ahead and laugh it up.