Paul George will not be eligible to sign a massive contract extension with the Indiana Pacers this summer after failing to make the All-NBA team. The Pacers are expected to make him available on the trade market than lose him in 2018 NBA free agency without getting in return. Should the Los Angeles Lakers trade for George?
On Thursday, the league announced the All-NBA team. Players like James Harden, John Wall, Steph Curry, and Russell Westbrook will be eligible to sign new five-year max contract extensions this summer after successfully making the All-NBA team. However, Paul George, who failed to be included in one of the three teams, will not be qualified for the new Designated Player Extension, making his Pacers’ future uncertain.
NBA Rumors: LA Lakers not trading for Paul George this summer
In the past months, the Los Angeles Lakers were frequently linked in various trade rumors involving Paul George. There are speculations that George wants to play for his hometown team when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018. However, if he will not sign a contract extension, the Pacers will try to trade him this summer.
After acquiring the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Lakers are in a strong position to acquire George via trade. However, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical revealed that the Lakers aren’t willing to give up assets for the Pacers star. The Lakers are “pretty confident” George will sign with them in the 2018 free agency.
“For the Lakers, they are pretty confident and have a great deal of belief that they’re in a position to get Paul George in 2018. Whether he stays in Indiana or he’s traded elsewhere, he’s going to be a free agent in 18 if he doesn’t re-sign this summer in Indiana. They don’t have to give assets up to go and try to trade for him. In fact, I think they’ve been encouraged to do just the opposite. If Paul George is going to go there, he wants them to have assets. He wants them to be as good of a team as they can when he walks in,” Woj said.
Lakers should focus on their young core
Acquiring Paul George will not make the Lakers an immediate title contender next season. The Lakers also need to sacrifice valuable trade assets in order to acquire him from the Pacers. As most people think, it will be best for the Lakers to focus first on the development of their young core. If they manage to show massive improvement next season, “Paul George to Lakers” will have a higher chance of becoming a reality in 2018.
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