Report: Pacers, Lakers Discussing Paul George Trade

It appears that Paul George may soon be bound for Southern California.

The Pacers and Lakers are engaged in trade talks surrounding George, according to an ESPN report.

Over the weekend, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that George informed the Pacers he will opt out of his contract next summer and become a free agent.

His preferred destination: the Lakers.

Los Angeles' new front office -- led by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka -- is reportedly refusing to include Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 pick in last year's draft, in any deal.

The Lakers could decide to wait and pursue George when he becomes a free agent, but that comes at a risk.

What if George is traded to a different team in the coming days, enjoys his time with that franchise and then spurns the Lakers and re-signs with his new team?

As ESPN's Zach Lowe said on Monday:

"There are teams around the league that are interested in Paul George who are rooting for him to be traded to the Lakers now, so that he goes there and they suck. And he says, 'Oh boy, I need to get somewhere else, let me look around again.'

"And then those teams will chase him in free agency having surrendered nothing, and having watched the Lakers surrender real things."

George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals this season, while shooting over 39 percent from 3-point territory.

He's been an All-Star four times, Third Team All-NBA three times and All-Defense three times.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

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