Little bit of breaking news on the Friday before a holiday weekend. Paul George, who still has one year remaining on his contract with the Indiana Pacers, plans to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer. It turns out that George grew up in Palmdale, California, which is in Los Angeles County and he apparently wants to “come home.” Via the Los Angeles Times:
"According to people not authorized to speak publicly, George, a Palmdale native, is still telling friends that he intends to be a Laker in 2018. Because of that, he knows the Lakers have little incentive to trade for him now."
Let me just say that “people not authorized to speak publicly” has to be the apex of Sources. Were these people authorized to speak privately? What will Paul George do when he learns his secret desire to play for the Lakers has been revealed? Could this affect a potential deal between the Celtics and Pacers?
We know the answer to that one is, “yes.” The Pacers asking price for a 1-year Paul George rental is currently quite high according to the Boston Herald.
"A league source said today that the Celtics are waiting to hear back from Pritchard, who as of draft night was asking for next year’s Nets’ and Lakers’ first-round picks, which are both under Celtics control. Pritchard also wants starting-caliber players included in the deal."
That’s not happening. The Nets pick is a lottery pick and the Lakers pick will either be a lottery pick or somewhere in the teens if Lonzo Ball is an immediate superstar and Brandon Ingram actually turns into the player the Lakers are convinced he will become. And the Celtics aren’t offering anything for George. Either Indiana is taking a Jimmy Butler-esque return or Paul George is just going to go through the motions for a year before heading to L.A.