There has been a lot of speculation in recent months about Paul George’s future with the Indiana Pacers, as midway through this past season he was open about possibly leaving if they do not build a championship caliber team around him.
Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics showed interest in potentially trading for George before the trade deadline this past season, but Indiana ultimately held onto him.
After being swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs, there is again some uncertainty about George’s future in Indiana, as if he lets it be known that he plans to leave in free agency in the summer of 2018 then Indiana could again try to trade him either this summer or before the trade deadline next year to get some young assets for him.
10-year NBA veteran Jared Dudley, who play for the Phoenix Suns this past season, recently commented on George’s situation, and he does not believe that George will be in Indiana much longer, via Vigilantsports.com:
“Paul George is not staying in Indiana,” Dudley, 31, said positively. “What you do now is you can force a team for a trade. He can get to L.A. He can get to the Lakers or Clippers. He’s going to make them trade [him] in February [by the trade deadline] and then he’ll sign the five-year max there.
If the Pacers management does decide that George needs to be traded then the Lakers will likely be the first team they contact, as it is believed that he is “hell-bent” on coming to the Lakers.
The current dilemma for the Lakers is if they want to trade some of their young assets away for George this summer to ensure he lands in Los Angeles, or take the chance that he makes it to free agency next summer and chooses to sign with the Lakers.