The Paul George to the Lakers rumors are heating up quickly. The Indiana Pacers star missed out on a huge extension by being left off the All-NBA teams. That only increases rumors of his desire to be in LA, something he has not explicitly denied.
Before anything happens, however, George will have to mull over his options and it appears as though that’s what he is planning on doing soon. According to Nate Taylor of the Indy Star, George is going to look at all of his options this weekend before meeting with the Pacers organization:
A league source told IndyStar that George is expected to consider his options over the weekend before have conversations with the Pacers.
To heat up the rumors even more, Taylor reports that the Lakers (as well as the Celtics and 76ers) attempted to trade for George at the trade deadline in February. We’ve known that the sides have had discussions in the past, but nothing as concrete as Taylor’s report. It would, however, be wise to take this part of the report with a grain of salt; the Pacers could be trying to ramp up interest in George.
George’s options currently are the following: sign an extension with the Pacers although there is no financial incentive to do so before hitting free agency in 2018 or demand a trade right now.
Demanding a trade could work for George who seems intent on joining his hometown Lakers. But that would run the risk of gutting the team he is going to, leaving him in a dire situation in pursuit of contending for a championship.
The Lakers are reportedly confident that they can sign George as a free agent so demanding a trade may not affect them much. But if another team sees lowered value for the Pacers’ star and makes a move, Indiana could trade George to another destination who would then have the financial advantage in signing him.