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George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018

23 June 2017

Ford's most recent mock draft has Fultz going to the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired the top pick from the Boston Celtics. Major trades could be going down during Thursday's National Basketball Association draft and in the coming weeks.

The Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in Paul George trade discussions as Thursday's NBA Draft draws near, according to league sources. IN can either keep him for one more season before losing him on the open market, or they can work to reach a trade to avoid losing him for nothing.

Coming off a Finals loss in which the Cavaliers were completely overmatched by the Golden State Warriors' length on the wing, George would be a ideal fit.

George isn't going to play in IN past next season and the longer the Pacers take to orchestrate a trade, the longer odds they have at flushing the 2017-18 season down the toilet. He's close friends with LeBron James, he's sick of losing to him in the playoffs and the Cavaliers can nearly guarantee him a trip to the NBA Finals next season.

Although the Lakers could conceivably wait a year and sign George as a free agent, it appears the team is being aggressive in its pursuit of the talented forward. The Cavaliers are devoid of the kind of young players and future picks that IN might want IN return for George, and George has never mentioned the Cavaliers as an intriguing destination.

While McMenamin reports that it would be "hard" for the Cavs to deal anything significant for a one-year rental of George, the Cavs also believe that the one year of championship contention could be enough to convince George to re-sign with them in 2018. He averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the just completed season.

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Manpreet emphasised that the team has no added pressure as they have already qualified for the HWL Final to be played in Bhubaneswar in December. "We play with no pressure".

It's quite a test for Kevin Pritchard, who took over as the chief decision-maker in the Pacers front office after Larry Bird abruptly stepped down after the season concluded. If Paul George leaves either now or later the Pacers will be left with nothing, but his memories.

Paul George would be the Lakers' first All-Star player since Kobe Bryant retired. Now he may wind up somewhere else before he lands with the team he prefers - the Los Angeles Lakers. It's probably a safe conjecture to make that Magic Johnson won't want to give up many assets to get the All-Star forward - even more so than any other team on the market for George.

One source familiar with the talks said a deal could potentially involve multiple players from both sides.

All four teams have one major problem in getting George: what can they give up that the Pacers would want. He also spent several years under Bird in IN, which gives him the familiarity of the roster and George to make an informed decision.

"One team source went as far Tuesday as saying there's "zero chance" they'd ‎surrender Thursday night's No. 2 pick or Ingram".

George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018