All-Star forward Paul George is under contract with the Indiana Pacers for two more seasons. The veteran is set to make $19.5 million next season and has a player option for 2018-19 to make $20.7 million.
Although George is under contract for next season, there has been endless speculation about his future and his reported desire to eventually play for the Los Angeles Lakers. George, however, hasn’t said anything publicly about his intentions, but the writing seems to be on the wall in Indiana if they don’t improve the roster, he’ll leave in free agency in 2018.
Kevin Pritchard, new Pacers team president, recently talked about the discussion he had with George during his exit interview. Pritchard claims every scenario discussed was with him remaining in Indiana, via Matthew VanTryon of IndyStar.com:
“We talked about a lot of different things. In every scenario he talked about being here. That’s important,” Pritchard said. “He wants to win. Picking up Lance late in the year made us a better team and got us into the playoffs. We want to win. We want successful teams year in and year out, and that has to do with Paul. He wants to win, the Pacers want to win, we’re on the same page.”
Pacers head coach Nate McMillan also recently talked about George’s future with the team. McMillan, much like Pritchard, is planning on George remaining with the team.
Despite the optimism from the front office, the rumors continue to circulate about George’s desire to play for the Lakers. It would be safe to assume the Lakers brass led by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka will reach out to the Pacers to see what it’ll take to acquire the perennial All-Star.
The Lakers currently have a few young assets and could have a high lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft to get a deal done. Whether it happens, remains to be seen as George’s future still hangs in the balance as both teams head into the NBA offseason.