Dec 19 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) dunks against Utah Jazz forwards Gordon Hayward (20) and DeMarre Carroll at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George or Gordon Hayward? It's an Easy Choice Now

As a sports fan, we always play that game of what if.  I wanted to look back at the 2010 draft and say what if.  Now of course, there’s no major what if since the Utah Jazz ended up picking Gordon Hayward from Butler and the Pacers had that next pick, which ended up being Paul George.  But there were those fans who believed that if Gordon Hayward was there for the picking, the Pacers would have picked him.

To me, I wouldn’t have mind this pick because I was a Butler guy. I went to Butler University and always followed the Bulldogs, so I know what player Gordon Hayward was.  Plus, he was from an Indiana high school and an Indianapolis college.  What more could you want at that time than some local kid?  This almost harkens back to the draft where Reggie Miller was selected over local guy Steve Alford.  At least somewhat local since he was from Indiana University down in Bloomington. Just like the draft pick of Miller over Alford was the obvious choice, this pick of George over Hayward is an obvious choice.

While both guys have carved out nice careers so far for their respective teams, we here in Indianapolis know what player Paul George is becoming.  He’s a guy that’s a legit MVP and Defensive Player of the Year candidate.  No offense to Mr. Hayward, but he’s not at that level. I think Hayward will enjoy a nice career when it’s all said and done, but Paul George is going to be one of the best Pacers player ever when his career is finished.

It’s bad to even look that far as these guys are only in their fourth year of playing. But both men are improving in their areas of game, and that’s great to see. I know from attending a game or two when the Jazz come to town that Gordon Hayward gets a great ovation, and even has some fans here in town in their Utah Jazz jerseys of his.  Hopefully, they’ll soon be sporting the Paul George jersey just to support the team here, but as always to each their own.

I look at this, and while the guys aren’t comparable, it’s still an interesting thought to have out there.  I looked back at that time and saw the  Pacers were just a mess of a team, hence the high draft pick.  So I imagine fans wanted to see a good guy in Gordon Hayward for this team. But of course, the Jazz made it non-existent to whether the Pacers would pick him.  The Pacers end up with Paul George, and here we are.  Do you think if Hayward was available the Pacers would have picked him?

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