George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018

George informs Pacers he will leave in 2018

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.

The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday George has already informed the Pacers he will opt out of his contract in 2018.

In addition to the news, Zach Lowe is reporting that the Pacers are going to try and move quickly on making a deal. Klay Thompson, who still has two years left on his current deal ($17.8 million next season; just under $19 million in 2018-19), is nearly an equal in terms of contract value to George (set to make $19.5 million next season).

However, a trade with the Cavaliers could also be unlikely since Pritchard reportedly wants "young players and future picks" that the Cleveland front office also needs.

If he doesn't sign the max contract former president of basketball operations Larry Bird has been promising before July 2018, George could become one of the most coveted free agents on the market next summer. But Griffin and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert abruptly announced Monday night that they were parting ways, just three days before Thursday's NBA Draft and less than two weeks before the June 30 expiration of Griffin's contract.

Question: Should the Cavaliers trade for Paul George of the Indiana Pacers?

Though, if that were the case and the Warriors were interested in pursuing a trade, there is a player who might be viewed as expendable, given the potential gain of adding George.

Irving averaged a career-best 25.2 points, along with 5.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals over 35.1 minutes per game during 72 regular-season games, and that productivity continued throughout the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Despite George's vast talent, a one-year rental of George means the Pacers won't get very much back. IN can offer him a five-year, $177 million extension as opposed to the four-year deal the Lakers are permitted to offer. If Paul George leaves either now or later the Pacers will be left with nothing, but his memories.

Q: So would you trade Kevin Love for him? To me, the best-cast scenario for the Heat is coming away with one of the top stretch forwards in the draft. Either way, the Pacers have a lot to think about and the battle for Paul George is only getting started.

ESPN's Marc Stein reports the Lakers are "trying" to trade for George in exchange for the No. 27 and No. 28 picks as well as either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson.

To be able to compete with the other players for a Paul George, the Rockets may need to be willing to part with a key contributor to last year's team. However, it could be a different situation, with PG13 under a one-year deal.

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