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Report: Paul George plans to leave Pacers; could join Lakers via free agency in 2018

Report: Paul George plans to leave Pacers; could join Lakers via free agency in 2018

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Report: Paul George tells Pacers he plans to leave in 2018 free agency

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Paul George has told the Pacers he plans to leave during the 2018 free agency period, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Per the report, George prefers the Lakers over any other team on the market. This news comes a year before George can exercise the player option from his contract and become a free agent.

If this report is true, it essentially kills any trade value he previously had for the Pacers. It’s hard to envision any team in the league offering Indiana a large haul knowing that George already has a destination in mind.

As for the Lakers, this is a dream scenario. They can either try to get George a year early through a trade where they have to give up essentially nothing or just wait it out for a season and sign him during the 2018 free agency period. The Lakers have all the advantage in the world while George has left the Pacers with nothing. In fact, ESPN’s Ramona Shellbourne reports that the Lakers don’t have any plans parting ways with any of their assets in exchange for George.

Although George would constitute a significant acquisition for Los Angeles, the rebuilding Lakers do not currently intend to part with any of their young assets in a trade with the Pacers, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

The George bombshell raises the following question: Should the Pacers have traded George last season and gotten ahead of his departure? That’s a tough answer for Indiana. Had George made an All-NBA team and qualified for the super max extension, then that would have given the Pacers more leverage in keeping George. However, he did not make an squad and now Indiana is in a very rough spot.

One option that the Pacers can explore is sending out Paul George as a rental. There are teams that believe adding…

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