Indiana Pacers star Paul George is opting out of his contract, and will be a free agent after the 2017 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
He wanted to be forthright on his plans and spare the franchise any confusion about his intentions, league sources told The Vertical. George can sign a four-year deal worth as much as $130 million with Los Angeles next year. George is a Southern California native and playing for the Lakers would represent a homecoming for him.
This gives the Pacers an opportunity to plan for a future without their franchise player. While Indiana may want to offer a trade to L.A., confirmation alleviates pressure to trade assets for George. Instead, they can just focus on making sure they have the necessary cap room.
Ideally, this would mean moving either Timofey Mozgov or Luol Deng. But it could require trading Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson. A trade could help unload some of their salary cap, plus L.A. could offer him five years instead of four.
This means the Lakers will likely not want to add another wing player in the upcoming draft, considering if they add George they could pair him with Brandon Ingram.