Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George is reportedly on the radar of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, it appears that the Pacers will do anything possible to keep the All-Star small forward in Indianapolis.
Larry Brown Sports reported earlier this year that George is one of the top targets of the Lakers, who are looking to become a playoff contender again. The 26-year-old will not become a free agent anytime soon, which means the Lakers can only acquire him via trade.
According to the report, the Pacers could think off trading George if they will be offered a trade package with a high draft pick. It is worth noting, though, that this was reported before the Lakers used their No. 3 pick this year to select Brandon Ingram.
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If the Lakers want to acquire George, they could package their future picks along with one of their young prospects and other players to make the deal work. But are the Pacers really open to trading George?
Based on the recent statement from Pacers president Larry Bird, they are determined to keep George. In fact, they are planning to continue acquiring players who will be a good fit for George’s skill set.
George has remained mum about his plan, but there were reports that he could do a James Harden by signing a surprising contract extension despite having three years left in his current deal. Bird said that George will be given a maximum contract whenever he wants to sign a new deal.
“We want Paul here and we know what it’s going to cost and what it’s going to take,” Bird said via Indianapolis Star. “If Paul wants to get a deal done, we will. It’s a max deal. There’s no others, so there’s no use talking about it. If he wants it, he’s got it.”
George, who played six games in 2015 after suffering a serious leg injury, played in 81 games last season. He averaged a career-high 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season.