Ever since Paul George told the Indiana Pacers that he was going to leave the team in free agency next offseason to join the Los Angeles Lakers, many other teams have been talking to the Pacers about trading for him.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets have been the three teams most active in trade talks, and while he has been recruiting players to join him on those teams, he is still "hell-bent" on signing with the Lakers in 2018, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
Hell-bent as he is on signing with the Lakers, George also won’t close a window of opportunity. So if the Cavs can convince Pritchard to either take on four-time All-Star forward Kevin Love or send him to a third team in exchange for more suitable assets, then George will play his heart out alongside LeBron James and remain open to the idea of re-signing next summer if James were also to return. Or, perhaps, George could leave for Los Angeles with James at his side.
Ditto for the Celtics or the San Antonio Spurs, teams that could fulfill George’s desire for title contention and thus put themselves in the running. And should the Lakers come along and trade for him early to ensure he doesn’t fall in love with another team, then so be it.
George hasn’t been shy about playing general manager, recruiting players to teams that he might join with the hopes of seeing how the stars align. (To make it clear, this extends beyond the Lakers possibility.) There’s no harm in this approach, in part because tampering rules don’t apply to players yet also because there’s always a chance the puzzle pieces fall perfectly into place. Welcome to today’s NBA, where the most prominent players hold so much of the power.
Boston has been trying to trade for George and sign Gordon Hayward as a free agent, and George has been trying to help the Celtics land Hayward.
However, no matter where he ends up next season, it appears that George is set on playing for the Lakers in 2018 - and has already started recruiting Klay Thompson to join him in LA in 2019.
George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists this past season.Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed