Report: Paul George telling friends he plans to play for Lakers in 2018

Paul George to the (fill in the team name) has been the talk of the NBA ever since he informed the Pacers he did not intend to re-sign when he becomes a free agent in 2018. But those who are willing to mortgage their immediate future for a one-year rental may want to reconsider.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, George is still talking privately as if his plan -- which he's made clear to Indiana is to play for the Lakers in 2018 -- hasn't changed.

According to people not authorized to speak publicly, George, a Palmdale native, is still telling friends that he intends to be a Laker in 2018. Because of that, he knows the Lakers have little incentive to trade for him now.

Although George's feelings could change, especially if he is traded to a team he likes, the Lakers aren't willing to part with too much to trade for him. Second-year forward Brandon Ingram, a favorite of the Lakers' coaching staff, has caught Indiana's eye, but is off limits. Without the help of a third team, the Lakers weren't willing to part with the No. 2 overall pick before the draft — the pick they used to take former UCLA star Lonzo Ball.

Buzz surrounding George has been a constant for weeks, as teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics have gauged Indiana's interest -- and price -- in dealing him. The Celtics claim Indiana's asking price is far too steep at the moment, but all this could mean that George, a Palmdale, California native, is dead-set on bolting for L.A. regardless of Indy's decision to keep or deal him before 2018.

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