Paul George finds himself a part of an Indiana Pacers organization that hasn’t necessarily completely let him down a la the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins, but hasn’t surrounded him with title-contending talent since that one stretch Roy Hibbert was good at basketball, either.
So now, as he’ll be a free agent at the end of next season, the rumors are starting with whether (or how) he’ll depart from the Pacers. One means, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: Via free agency, and to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Because of course.
So, in order to get whatever they can before he departs or they lose leverage altogether next year, the Pacers are apparently gauging what his value might be now.
Here’s how Woj puts it:
The Indiana Pacers are gauging the trade market on All-Star forward Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.
For teams considering a trade for George, here’s the risk: As a free agent in the summer of 2018, he has considered re-signing with Indiana or joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell The Vertical.
Now, it’s hard to say whether this is George’s agent leaking this information so as to keep him in line for the mega max deal at the end of next year a la Boogie’s agent, but as of right now, the Lakers have the same old question to answer.
Should they trade for George now and do what they can to guarantee his in Los Angeles long-term, or should they hold off and see if they can acquire him without giving up any of their promising, young assets?
Also worth noting in any trade for a player of George’s caliber: The Lakers would have to give up a couple of their young assets, obviously, but would also ostensibly be kissing any chance at keeping their top-three pick in June’s draft, too. Just something to keep in mind.
As of right now, a ton more information needs to come forth, but considering only yesterday, the Pacers were refusing to include him in trade talks, there seems to be at least a small opportunity for Magic Johnson to really start his tenure with the Lakers off with a bang.