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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Report: Paul George trade market limited by belief he will sign with Lakers

Paul George

The Indiana Pacers have to give serious consideration to trading Paul George this summer if they believe he will leave in free agency next year, but they may not end up getting a respectable enough offer.

While George is obviously the type of talent you would expect teams to give up a ton of assets for, there is a growing belief that the 27-year-old is dead set on signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, that is the reason teams are unwilling to pay a high price for George.

You should buy stock in George heading to L.A. The vibe I’ve gotten from talking to NBA executives and agents over the past few weeks is that teams aren’t willing to sell the farm for George because of the possibility that he’ll sign with the Lakers is so strong.

By that same reasoning, the Lakers don’t need to give up draft picks or young players to acquire George, either. They can simply wait it out until after the 2017-2018 season and sign him as a free agent.

George grew up a Lakers fan in L.A., and he openly expressed frustration with the Pacers during the postseason this year. Indiana can offer him significantly more than any other team with a max contract extension, but reports like this make it seem like George is willing to turn down the extra cash. Unless the Pacers get desperate and end up taking pennies on the dollar, their best bet is to spend the upcoming season trying to convince George to stick around.

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