Good one Paul George, good one.
The Pacers star was quoted in recent days — discussing just how the Pacers match up with the Cleveland Cavaliers — telling reporters that Indiana was only a few players away.
Well things have changed dramatically — as Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he plans to become a free agent next summer and will leave the franchise – preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers.
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.
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.
George’s desire to join the Lakers will shake up the league, as Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka can now use PG 13 to help recruit other top available players to the Lakers.
One such player who’ll likely be available if he so chooses, is LeBron James, who just so happens to be a free agent next summer as well.
With everyone around the league believing James to L.A. is just a formality, Pelinka can now start to format the trades and moves that could net LeBron next summer as well, such as moving Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov’s horrible deals.
The Lakers can now key in on Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick, as George ensures that L.A. can wait a year for a small forward.
With George announcing the move, can you imagine a future lineup of Ball, George, LeBron, Brandon Ingram and whatever big they choose?
George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season — leading Indiana to the Eastern Conference playoffs.