Paul George informs Pacers he will be a free agent

Paul George informs Pacers he will be a free agent

Lakers and Pacers in talks for Paul George trade
Paul George considering Lakers in 2018 free agency
Do the Lakers need an established star?

It seemed that the Paul George news had finally taken a back seat to the NBA Draft and it’s madness with the Celtics/Sixers trade. However, it was a little too quiet. Paul George seems to have made his intentions pretty clear. Per the Woj Master himself.

You read that right Paul George (per sources) has informed the Pacers that he does in fact plan to leave them in for free agency in 2018. Wojnarowski went even further as to state that George has informed the Pacers that his intention is to likely 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.

In the article, it states “George has not requested a trade before he can opt out of his 2018-19 contract” however he did request that his agent inform the team of his intentions. George stated that he wanted to be forthright with his intention so there is no confusion in the future and so the team can start to move on and prepare for the aftermath. Whether the Pacers fans like it or not, this early notice to the team is best for both parties. After all, how many free agents gave their teams the intention they might stay, only to leave for Miami or Cleveland?

This also is a move that has ramifications for this coming trade deadline as well as the free agent frenzy that will be 2018. First it’s hard to trade a player that has intended to become a free agent in 2018. Second, it’s even more difficult to trade said player if his intentions (whether true or not) have been to go to a specific team when his free agency comes.

The writing “Paul George to LA” has been on the wall for a very long time and this only expands or confirms that narrative. George can sign a 4 year $130 million-dollar deal with LA in 2018. In terms, free agency this news could affect who decides to go where in a loaded free agency crop in 2018.  It is likely that the Lakers will be able to off load some cap next year rather than this year. This year the Lakers plan to bide their time and wait.

UPDATE:

Shortly after the announcement that Paul George informed the Pacers that he will test free agency it was announced that the Pacers were looking for anything they could get in return for George. Unfortunately, as stated above the market for a rental is not very large.

Now before Laker fans get gung ho about trading everyone (too late I know) Ramona Shelburne reassured that the Lakers, who hold all the cards, are not trading the young core anytime soon

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