First of all, I feel awful for Paul George, but I do think he'll be okay career-wise. He's young enough that he hasn't even entered his prime yet, so (pending his rehab) I feel comfortable in saying that he's still the cornerstone of this franchise. We will definitely want to try to get a 1A player just in case.
With that said, it really sucks that this happens after we lost our 2nd best player, also not yet in his prime, for whatever reason.
Whatever you think about Lance personally, anyone with common sense would assume the Pacers would struggle if Stuckey/Miles were the only replacements for him. Replacing a borderline All Star with two bench players and all that. The Pacers felt that way too, so hopes were resting on Paul George to step it up to an MVP level. He knew that if he didn't, the team wasn't going to get very far at all next season.
Obviously that's all out the window now. The starting lineup outside of David West is going to be mediocre at their absolute best, and as Pacers fans we know all too well how frustrating watching such a team over an entire season can be. West and Hibbert aren't signed for much longer, and the rest of their tenure here (should they stay) would be with a mediocre-at-best team. The plus side is that Hibbert would get to be the feature guy he seems to think he should be on offense. The downside is, well, the team is going to be the only thing worse than awful: mediocre.
To make things brief, Hibbert and West should not be viewed as part of this team's future. And with the core gone (PG and Lance) for at least a season, the present is not worth keeping those guys around when future assets could be obtained for them. It's time to have a fire sale and rebuild around PG. Give major minutes to young/unproven guys, get some draft picks and get back on track for 2 years from now (or maybe even next season).
George Hill, David West, Roy Hibbert, Luis Scola, Mahinmi should all be on the market. Take back the best combination of youth, potential and draft picks. In the meantime play Solo Hill, Rudez, LaVoy Allen and whoever we get back in trades. In all honesty, we should net some value for those guys, as a David West could turn a pretender into a contender overnight (I'm looking at you, Phoenix).
I know some people want to be stubborn and avoid the lottery, but you have to rip the bandaid or we'll never get out of the East. And quite honestly, watching young players develop appeals to me more than watching Vogel's halfcourt offense without its only star player for 82 games.
It sucks, but I really hope the front office does the right thing and holds an auction. No point in waiting for West to be 35 and on an expiring contract and hope that the stars align for us health and competition-wise.
Let's appreciate the run this unit had and get a head start on finding the future of the franchise (along with PG).