Paul George trade: 'Pacers intend to move fast on a deal,' according to new report

By @saihoops on
Paul George, Paul George trade, Los Angeles Lakers, Paul George to Lakers
Mar 5, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) dribbles around the arch against Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) and forward Thabo Sefolosha (25) during the first quarter at Philips Arena. USA TODAY Sports / John David Mercer

The Indiana Pacers are engaging several teams on a potential Paul George trade and "intend to move fast" on a deal, according to a new report. With George letting Indiana know that he plans to pursue free agency in 2018, the new Pacers front office, led by general manager Kevin Pritchard, is determined to move the All-Star forward this offseason. 

After The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Pritchard is accepting offers "for a rental" since George has only a year left on his contract, ESPN's Zach Lowe tweeted late on Sunday that "sense from teams talking to Indiana is that (the) Pacers intend to move fast on a PG deal." Senior NBA insider David Aldridge has reported that Pacers are "ideally expecting two first-round draft picks and a NBA-level starter in exchange for George."

Needless to say, with George intent on leaving Indiana next year, the Pacers have little leverage in trade talks. The Pacers, under the previous regime of Larry Bird, had tried to move George prior to February's 2017 NBA Trade Deadline but were reportedly unhappy with the offers on the table.

Paul George to Lakers: Magic Johnson not parting with young assets?

Earlier this year, USA Today's Sam Amick reported that George has often fantasised about succeeding retired legend Kobe Bryant as the new franchise player of the Los Angeles Lakers. "George, who grew up in the Southern California town of Palmdale and always saw the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant as his preeminent basketball idol, there’s a transparent reality about his dream of seeing his name in the Staples Center lights."

The reports surfacing on Sunday confirmed that George intends to sign with the Lakers in 2018. Therefore, Magic Johnson & Co. could hold on to their assets and simply add George via free agency next summer. 

"If George, 27, were to sign with the Lakers, it would mark a homecoming of sorts, as he was born in nearby Palmdale, California. George instructed his agent to inform new Pacers president Kevin Pritchard of his plans, according to the Vertical. Although George would constitute a significant acquisition for Los Angeles, the rebuilding Lakers do not currently intend to part with any of their young assets in a trade with the Pacers," read a report quoting ESPN sources.

Paul George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his seventh season for the Indiana Pacers. The two-way wing was drafted 10th overall by the Pacers in 2010. George led the Pacers to two Eastern Conference finals appearances besides making three All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams. Stay tuned for the latest rumblings on a potential Paul George trade and more news and updates from the NBA offseason.