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 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 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.