There will be no Paul George.
George "suffered an open fracture of the tibia and fibula bones in his lower right leg" during an Aug. 1 Team USA scrimmage game in Las Vegas, per the Indianapolis Star's Candace Buckner. Buckner adds "it'd take at least six months for George to get back on his feet and longer to return to the court."
In spite of the downgrade, the Pacers' starting lineup for next season will prove to be competitive to the very end. Take it from team president Larry Bird, per Pacers.com's Mark Montieth:
We think we're going to put a competitive team out there. We think we're going to play hard and develop our young guys. Everyone's going to get an opportunity to show us what they can do. I think we'll be an exciting team. We have a lot of things to look forward to. My goal is to win as many games as we possibly can and get in the playoffs.
No Paul George. No franchise player around.
Doesn't matter. This group of Indiana Pacers must rally around their fallen comrade and give their fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic.