AP Sources: George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that star forward Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he plans to leave the franchise when he becomes a free agent in 2018.

George's future has been hotly debated for months, and it crystalized this weekend with conversations between George and Pacers management. The people spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the parties were not commenting publicly on the matter.

George has spent all seven of his seasons in Indiana, emerging as one of the league's top players. He has played in four All-Star games and averaged a career-high 23.7 points last season.

George's declaration means the Pacers have to decide whether to trade him this summer or risk losing him without compensation next year.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the news.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.