George led the Pacers to two Eastern Conference finals appearances besides making three All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams.
The Indiana Pacers are looking to move star forward Paul George prior to Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, and have been immersed in trade talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources told Amico Hoops late Sunday.
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. But Sunday provided a swift punch to the gut for IN fans as George said he will not return to the team following the 2018 season, as first reported by the Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The four-time All-Star, who averaged a career-best 23.7 points last season along with 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists, would be a massive upgrade for the Wizards with the trio of George, Wall and Beal.
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The Pacers seem to be interested in moving Paul George as soon as this week. The report added that George's motivation for disclosing this to Pritchard was to allow the Pacers to plan for a future without him.
Since the news of George's intent to depart for LA, other reports have surfaced that IN has begun searching for a trade partner that will essentially use George as a one-year rental, including Cleveland, Boston, and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Pacers want a starter and a first-round pick, so the Lakers would presumably part with Luol Deng and a first-round draft pick. As of writing, however, there is no indication that Pritchard has made contacts with his counterpart in Los Angeles - Magic Johnson. The Pacers would be open to that trade because if they don't trade George, he will walk next summer and they would get nothing in return. He would mark the Lakers' first potential free-agent signing since striking out in recent years in retaining their own (Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol) and enticing star players (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe, Kevin Durant). Just before the trade deadline in February, USA TODAY Sports reported that George was "hell bent" on joining the Lakers. Stories, guys talking, teams talking. Having made it that far, the runner-up Cavs may logically be the most likely team able to talk themselves into "renting" George for one year.
Indeed Cleveland would look different with George being part of the team. Also, no other team that is now building will trade any assets for George just to have him leave for LA after one season.
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