Draft Flashback: Pacers Select Paul George

Ross Houston
June 21, 2017

The Lakers could wait to sign him when his free agency strikes next July, but they run the risk of another team trading for and potentially locking in the All-Star forward for the foreseeable future. "This team has had three incredible years, the right age for players to play more".

George can be a free agent next summer.

A wild weekend that began with rumors of a trade at the top of the draft, which materialized in the blink of an eye, has just been bookended by a potential league-altering leak: Paul George wants the Hollywood treatment.

Reuters/Trevor RuszkowskiIndiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) looks to pass the ball while Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) defends in the second. Any suitor would be hoping it could use one year with George to convince him to stay despite the Los Angeles temptation.

That projected No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz was willing to work out for the Lakers felt, inside the building, like a sign that the Lakers were once again an attractive destination for stars.

And George was quick to add: "I'm under contract for next season".

The Lakers roster is now stacked with young players and they hold the number two overall pick in the draft.

The Pacers reacquired Stephenson late in the season after he'd spent time as a free agent booking tryouts after failed stints with multiple teams. That said, IN might not be able to get a better player than Love IN any potential deal for George. Wojnarowski says that the Pacers chances of trading George are very limited, possibly even crippled, with National Basketball Association executives believing George is dead set on landing with the Lakers in free agency.

The hope would be that walking away from $77 million guaranteed is more hard than passing on $47 million that he could theoretically make back by signing a new contract after the four years of his new contract expires. Since then, George has been a consistent all-star and at one point had the Pacers as a possible threat to take down the Miami Heat during the four seasons Lebron James was a member of the team.

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