Paul George trade rumors mean the Pacers must start from scratch next summer

After a season’s worth of speculation as to where Paul George will end up via his looming 2018 free agency, he’s cleared the air. George informed the Pacers he will not re-sign in Indiana next summer, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Instead, he will become an unrestricted free agent, and many believe his preferred destination is the Los Angeles Lakers.

George grew up in Palmdale, Calif., just outside of the city of Los Angeles. He played college basketball at Fresno State, and one of his favorite players growing up was Magic Johnson. Suffice it to say his decision to play for his hometown team was expected.

But that’s not what the Pacers All-Star said a week ago when spotted at the Caroline Symmes Memorial Celebrity Softball Challenge in Indianapolis. A reporter asked George straight-up whether he wanted to stay in Indiana or not, according to Vigilant Sports. His response:

“Of course. Again, what I’ve always been preaching more so than you see now, is having guys that I can win with, and are wanting to win. It came from the heart, I’m very sincere on wanting to bring that to Indiana. That’s where my heart is always going to be at.”

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