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Paul George Intends To Leave Pacers

Paul George has told the Pacers he plans to leave during the 2018 free agency period, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Per the report, George prefers the Lakers over any other team on the market. This news comes a year before George can exercise the player option from his contract and become a free agent.
If this report is true, it essentially kills any trade value he previously had for the Pacers. It's hard to envision any team in the league offering Indiana a large haul knowing that George already has a destination in mind. 
As for the Lakers, this is a dream scenario. They can either try to get George a year early through a trade where they have to give up essentially nothing or just wait it out for a season and sign him during the 2018 free agency period. The Lakers have all the advantage in the world while George has left the Pacers with nothing. In fact, ESPN's Ramona Shellbourne reports that the Lakers don't have any plans parting ways with any of their assets in exchange for George.
One option that the Pacers can explore is sending out Paul George as a rental. There are teams that believe adding a guy like George can make them a title contender. They'll be willing to part with assets to take the risk on that one-year run. According to The Vertical, the Pacers have already explored that option.

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