Paul George isn’t guaranteeing the Indiana Pacers that he’ll sign a massive contract extension this summer. According to the latest report, George is considering to join his hometown team, Los Angeles Lakers, once he becomes a free agent in 2018.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported the Lakers are among the teams who expressed interests in acquiring Paul George before the trade deadline. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson called Pacers president Larry Bird about George’s availability via trade. However, Shelburne revealed that the conversation between the two executives “never go beyond pleasantries”.
George still wants to be the first player to bring an NBA championship title in Indiana. However, he openly stated that he wants to play on a “winning team”. The Pacers remain as a playoff contender but not in a position to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors.
Like other superstars, George could sign a lucrative contract extension this summer estimated at $219 million. Bird already revealed their plan to keep George long-term but the Pacers star isn’t yet ready to make a commitment.
“As I told Larry, I always want to play on a winning team. I always want to be part of a team that has a chance to win it [all]. That’s important. Say what you want; I want to compete for something. It’s frustrating just playing the game for stats or for numbers or to showcase yourself. Man, I want a chance to play for a chance to win a championship,” George said.
As most people think, Paul George is pushing the Pacers to continue improving their roster. Indiana already made their 2017- first-round pick available in order to acquire a quality player to play alongside George. However, after he made the statement, ESPN revealed that the Pacers entertained offers for George from several NBA teams, including the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Paul George plans to re-sign with the Pacers or join the Lakers in 2018
If they fail to improve their roster, there is a higher possibility that he’ll not sign a contract extension this summer. The best time to trade him is now while his value is still high. Though he considers re-signing with the Pacers in 2018, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical revealed that Paul George may also choose to join the Lakers.
“For teams considering a trade for George, here’s the risk: As a free agent in the summer of 2018, he has considered re-signing with Indiana or joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell The Vertical,” Woj reported.
As Woj notes, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson could play a major role in recruiting George. When he was hired by the Lakers, Johnson revealed his plan to make the purple and gold an attractive destination for superstars once again.
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