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It’s no secret that Paul George has been connected to the Lakers in recent days, weeks and months. Starting at the NBA Trade deadline, rumors began swirling of how “hell-bent” George was in getting to the Lakers.
On Sunday, the rumors took another step.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, George informed the Pacers of his intentions to leave the team in free agency and his preference to join the Lakers.
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 hasn’t requested a trade before he can opt out of his 2018-19 contract, but did have his agent, Aaron Mintz, tell new Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard that he wanted to be forthright on his plans and spare the franchise any confusion about his intentions, league sources told The Vertical.
This is the first report that George has informed the team that he will leave in free agency. Recently, George had planned on evaluating his future and letting the Pacers know of his decision and it appears he’s come to a final verdict.
Wojnarowski explained a few more details regarding George and his situation in Indiana.
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.
Wojnarowski also dives into the potential of a trade for the Pacers with the Lakers, but this is little reason the Lakers would be interested in engaging in talks if George is as “hell-bent” on joining the team as multiple reports have stated.
This latest twist in the saga is likely the most dramatic yet. And to think, we’re only 12 months away from any possible move.