George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018

George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018

George has spent all seven of his National Basketball Association seasons in IN, emerging as one of the league's top players.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical broke the news Sunday that George informed the Pacers through his agent that the All-Star forward plans to leave IN next summer. With George reportedly telling the Pacers that he would be departing from IN and likely joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers for the 2018-19 year, the Pacers are essentially dealing a player who has determined where and when he will sign.

The rumor of Paul George leaving the Pacers for LA has been present for a while, starting as whispers in the dark and eventually becoming a daily question for him and the team. He averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the just completed season. IN would probably want draft picks, but the Cavs don't have many left to trade. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge may want George to accept that player option to make the contract worth two years. While Indiana may want to offer a trade to L.A., confirmation alleviates pressure to trade assets for George.

The sad truth for George is the Pacers will likely to better off for his absence. If George is traded to the Cavs, he would have to get used to not having the ball in his hands very much, and his shot attempts going way down.

According to Dave McMenamin, the Cavs are willing to talk about acquiring George without any assurance he will stay in Cleveland beyond one season.

Regardless of what path Pritchard and the Pacers decide to take, it's going to be a rough couple of the years for the blue and gold.

Heading to the Lakers would put George, who will make $19.5 million in 2017-18, close to his hometown of Palmdale, Calif., just on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains from Los Angeles. They know they'll be terrible again next year, so why mortgage their future for a chance to have George next season?

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The Vertical reported Sunday that sources indicate George would prefer to end up with the Los Angeles Lakers.

This is why it would be extremely risk for the Lakers to roll the dice and allow George to play a season on another team. After next season, it could be anybody's guess as to where George will play.

George was joined by Pacers coach Nate McMillan and teammates Myles Turner, Joe Young and Georges Niang.

Things could change before the draft on Thursday, but for now, the Lakers will be picking second and 28th.

And the Pacers are, well, you know... He can sign a five-year extension with the Pacers for $177 million or sign with the Lakers next summer for four years and $130 million.

I said five percent.

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