The Vertical is reporting that George has told the Indiana Pacers of his intentions to leave, preferably to the Los Angeles Lakers, in order to give the Pacers time to prepare for their future that will likely be without him.
This is a drastically different message then what Paul George told the Indianapolis media at a charity softball event just a few days ago, saying that he still wants to win a championship for Indiana, but wants help to do so.
George saying that he wants to go the Lakers does not give the Pacers any leverage to make a deal with another team as they will also expect that George will leave them in free agency after this season.
This doesn’t give the Pacers any good options in this scenario. It’ll be hard for fans to come out and cheer for George this season when they know he’s planning to leave, and the Pacers end up with nothing in return for their superstar. The Lakers are unlikely to offer much of anything of value because they’ll have the cap space to sign George this upcoming offseason.
This also doesn’t make the Pacers an appealing free agent destination if they know George is on his way out. The unlikely possibility of Gordon Hayward coming home is even more unlikely now. Even Jeff Teague may reconsider whether he wants to play for his hometown team knowing they may have to rebuild once George is gone.