Paul George, in all likelihood, will not be an Indiana Pacer next summer when he enters unrestricted free agency.
The 27-year-old All-Star forward has reportedly made it clear that he wants to be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers once the smoke clears.
Sources: All-Star Paul George tells Pacers he plans to leave franchise in 2018 free agency, prefers Lakers. https://t.co/anP4bvbwir
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 18, 2017
George has not requested a trade.
It is unclear how robust offers to Indiana will ultimately be, given that teams believe he will sign with the Lakers next summer. So far, Indiana is asking for a substantial package of talent and draft picks for George, league sources said. Discussions could extend until Thursday’s NBA draft – or beyond.
George can sign a four-year deal worth as much as $130 million with Los Angeles next year. George is a Southern California native and playing for the Lakers would represent a homecoming for him.
George plans to play out the 2017-18 season with Indiana, but wants to give the organization the chance to plan appropriately for its future – which George told the team won’t include him, league sources said.
George’s desire to join the Lakers has massive repercussions on the free-agent market in 2018. Under president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, George would represent the first NBA star in years to choose the Lakers in free agency. As Los Angeles’ management reshapes its roster, George could be a lure to recruit other top available players to the Lakers.