NBA Rumors: Paul George to Leave Pacers for Lakers in 2018 Free Agency

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Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George hasn’t shied away from his interest in potentially returning to California, where he was born. The 27-year-old has been a staple of the Indiana Pacers since being drafted by the team with the No. 10 pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

Over George’s seven-year NBA career, he’s averaged 18.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Most recently, his game has been at its best, as he’s averaged over 23 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in each of the past two seasons.

As of just a few days ago, George wouldn’t commit long term to the Pacers, but also wouldn’t openly state that he was planning on leaving to join the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 free agency. According to ESPN, George urged the Pacers to improve their roster by stating that they “need better players.” Whether his statement didn’t go over well, or George just had a change of heart, everything made a 180 on Sunday.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, George informed the Pacers that he will become a free agent in 2018 and will leave the franchise. As assumed, his preference is to 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

As Wojnarowski pointed out, George has not requested a trade but had his agent, Aaron Mintz, tell the franchise of his plans ahead of time.

George, who was born in nearby Palmdale, California, would be facing a homecoming to Los Angeles and certainly would be welcomed with open arms by a team who hasn’t made the playoffs in four seasons. Adding the four-time NBA All-Star and All-Defensive player, along with whoever the Lakers select with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA draft could help to change that fate quickly, though.

Obviously, once George made it known that he was leaving the Pacers with interest in joining the Lakers, the internet went crazy. Bleacher Report’s Instagram gave a first look at George in a Lakers uniform.

And if you want interesting timing, the internet seemed to go somewhat crazy when, on the very same day of George’s report, Lakers president Magic Johnson posted the following tweet.

Finally, the potential Lakers roster with George on it was pieced together by Dan Duangdao of Los Angeles Sports Media.

The excitement is picking up steam in Los Angeles, but there’s still a full year before next year’s free agency period. Even still, the Lakers seem to have things to be excited about on the horizon.

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