Indiana Pacers F Paul George will test free agency after next season, prefers Los Angeles Lakers

By The Sports Xchange  |  June 18, 2017 at 8:10 PM
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All-Star forward Paul George informed the Indiana Pacers he won't resign with the franchise and plans to become a free agent after next season, according to multiple reports on Sunday.

George can opt out of his contract following the 2017-18 season and become a free agent and is targeting the Los Angeles Lakers as his next club.

The 27-year-old George is from Palmdale, Calif., a desert town about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

George reportedly had his agent relay the news now to Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard so he was upfront with his plans as well as giving the franchise the opportunity to prepare for its future.

The Pacers are already shopping George, according to The Vertical. While the four-time All-Star would prefer to be shipped to the Lakers, Indiana reportedly has discussed a potential deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

One report said the Pacers are requesting a "substantial package of talent and draft picks" in exchange for George, who averaged a career-best 23.7 points last season.

A deal with the Lakers might be harder to work out as that franchise is aiming to build around the young players it has been collecting in recent seasons. Los Angeles also has the No. 2 overall selection in Thursday's draft.

If George hits free agency, he will be eligible to sign a four-year, $130 million contract.

If George remained with the Pacers, he could receive a five-year, $177 million extension.

George has an 18.1 points-per-game average in parts of seven NBA seasons. He recovered from a serious compound fracture of his right leg in the summer of 2014 while playing for USA Basketball to regain his star status.

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