Report: Paul George tells Pacers he plans to leave franchise in 2018, targets Lakers
All-Star forward Paul George has reportedly told the Pacers that he plans to become a free agent in the summer of 2018 and may look at signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
His agent, Aaron Mintz, wanted to be forthright on his plans to the Pacers' front office, according to The Vertical.
ESPN.com's Zach Lowe reports the Pacers "intend to move fast" on trading George. NBA.com's David Aldridge reports Indiana is looking for two first-round picks in addition to a starter, but rival teams are "skittish."
George has averaged 18.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in his seven seasons in the league. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
He missed out on making the All-NBA team, which meant the Pacers could not offer him a five-year, $207 million Designated Player Veteran Exception but would have to settle for a five-year, $177 million offer to George.
His name was involved in trade rumors during February's trade deadline with ties to the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks. He led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference playoffs before being swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games.
The Lakers are his hometown team. Los Angeles would need to create salary-cap space in order to sign George next summer.