Jul 17, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
Paul George had a breakout season for the Indiana Pacers, earning his first trip to the All-Star game and going toe-to-toe at with LeBron James at times during a compelling Eastern Conference Finals series that went all seven games.
His rookie contract will be up after next season, at which time George will technically hit the free agent market — although his status will be restricted, with the Pacers having the opportunity to match any offer he may receive to play somewhere else.
If George continues on his current trajectory, the decision will be a no-brainer for Indiana to offer him a max contract to keep him in town for the next four or five seasons. As of right now, that plan sounds just fine to George, who is happy in Indiana, despite his ties to Los Angeles.
“My heart is still in Indiana,” the 23-year-old said [in an interview with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio on Tuesday.] “… I’m still a Pacer, and hopefully I remain a Pacer. I’m happy where I’m at.”
George said that him hypothetically joining the Lakers would certainly be a “family-favorite team.”
“Of course it would be tough (to say no to Kobe). You’re talking about playing [at] home.”
The Lakers came up not only because they always do, but because George grew up in Los Angeles, and the Lakers will be looking to sign some big-name free agents next summer when they’ll have almost an entire roster full of salary cap space to pursue anyone that they choose.
But again, George is a restricted free agent, and will likely be deserving of a max contract that the team should have no trouble offering in order to keep him in Indiana for the next several years.
There’s no reason he wouldn’t want to be there right now considering the success the team has seen in his three seasons there, but it’s still good news for the franchise that George isn’t looking to leave anytime soon.
Jul 2, 2015, 9:06 AM EDT
Kim Hughes: ‘I’m sure he won’t come back’
Jul 2, 2015, 8:34 AM EDT
There are still some very good players on the board
Jul 2, 2015, 8:02 AM EDT
This is a good deal for both sides.
Jul 2, 2015, 1:11 AM EDT
If he does, will Miami trade Mario Chalmers and/or Shabazz Napier?
Jul 2, 2015, 12:01 AM EDT
Good value for Boston
Jul 1, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT
The Warriors are keeping the band together — and they will be at the top of the West for a while.
Jul 1, 2015, 11:27 PM EDT
Philadelphia takes Jason Thompson, Carl Landry from Sacramento
Jul 1, 2015, 11:04 PM EDT
Asik will take some pressure off Anthony Davis
Jul 1, 2015, 9:57 PM EDT
Neither are the Pacers
Jul 1, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Not a good idea
Jul 1, 2015, 7:53 PM EDT
The Brad Stevens Effect
Jul 1, 2015, 7:40 PM EDT
Cleveland continues to soar over luxury-tax lines
Jul 1, 2015, 7:34 PM EDT
Would Paul Pierce agree to this if DeAndre Jordan were leaving town?
Jul 1, 2015, 7:07 PM EDT
Millsap had been flirting with Orlando but chose a shorter deal in Atlanta.
Jul 1, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT
Will Wright back up or replace Marc Gasol?
Jul 1, 2015, 6:43 PM EDT
Will that be enough to get Aldridge back to Portland?
Jul 1, 2015, 6:31 PM EDT
He is using this to leverage the Cavaliers, but the door is open.
Jul 1, 2015, 6:07 PM EDT
This is a contract the Thunder can live with or move, depending.
Jul 1, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT
Even if another team signs him to an offer sheet, the Warriors will just match it.
Jul 1, 2015, 4:47 PM EDT
Aldridge and Kobe Bryant didn’t quite click in their meeting.
- Trail Blazers assistant coach: ‘We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge’ 0
- Who is left on the board after wild first day of NBA free agency? 2
- Report: Warriors, Draymond Green agree to five-year, $85 million deal 17
- 76ers get Nik Stauskas, first-rounder in salary-dump trade with Kings 45
- Report: Pelicans finalizing deal with Omer Asik 3
- Reports: Paul Pierce agrees to three-year, $10 million contract with Los Angeles Clippers 23
- Report: LaMarcus Aldridge rules out Lakers in free agent decision 108
- Reports: Phoenix Suns sign Tyson Chandler, re-sign Brandon Knight, try to reshape roster 14