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#pounditTuesday, September 22, 2020

Paul George reportedly determined to play for Lakers

One of the reasons Paul George was so difficult to move before the NBA trade deadline is that there are reportedly only two teams he is interested in playing for — his current one and the Los Angeles Lakers.

George is under contract with the Indiana Pacers through the 2017-2018 season. After that, it is all but certain that he will opt out of the final year of his deal and either sign a massive extension or hit the free agent market. If the latter happens, George apparently already knows where he is heading.

George grew up in the L.A. area, so his desire to play for the Lakers is not a surprise. He has said publicly that his priority is to win with the Pacers, and remaining in Indiana would become a much more viable option if George makes one of the three NBA All-Pro teams this year. That would allow the Pacers to offer him the designated player exception and pay him roughly $212 million over six years. Other teams could only offer $123 million over four seasons.

At least one team reportedly made a massive offer for George at the trade deadline, but the swingman’s unwillingness to play for that team long-term stood in the way of a deal. All indications have been that George has his sights set on La-La land.

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