The NBA offseason is in full swing with all sorts of rumors floating around about the futures of star players as well as the positioning of teams trying to figure out how to dethrone the Golden State Warriors. One player that has been mentioned more than anyone else in these rumors recently has been perennial All-Star Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.
All signs have pointed to George leaving the Pacers in free agency next summer and heading to his hometown Lakers. Now it appears that he has finally told Indiana his plans to do so when the time comes, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical:
All-Star forward Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he plans to become a free agent in the summer of 2018 and will leave the franchise – preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told The Vertical.
George has one year left on his contract with the Pacers and has made it clear to the team that if they don’t put better pieces around him to contend in the Eastern Conference that he’d consider leaving town. Now that it has apparently been conveyed to the Pacers brass, it’ll be interesting to see if this forces the hand of new team president, Kevin Pritchard.
All the pressure will now be on the Pacers to either build around George immediately or to pursue a trade in order to avoid losing the superstar for nothing next year. Indiana will get a decent trade package in return for George if they decide to go that route with the Lakers having some talented young players to include in a potential deal.
Only time will tell if the Pacers choose to stick with George as their star player or begin a rebuild by pulling off a blockbuster trade to send him to Los Angeles or elsewhere.