Though Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George has continued to play at a high level, his 2016-17 campaign was marred with rumors about his future with his current club. It seemed at times he was upset with the Pacers front office but Indiana has also expressed interest in retaining their star forward on multiple occasions.
While George isn’t a free agent this offseason, many believe we have seen his last days in an Indiana Pacers uniform. A trade involving George seemed imminent prior to the trade deadline and since that didn’t happen, it was expected for his name to come up in trade talks again this summer.
However, whether George is happy or not in Indiana, the 4-time All-Star said he plans to play out his contract with the Pacers. Following from Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star:
Paul George says he expects to play out his contract with the Pacers next season.
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 15, 2017
Though Paul George is committed to the Pacers as long as he is under contract, there is only one season remaining on his deal that he must play out. This means he will be eligible to exercise his player option and enter free agency next offseason, giving him the luxury to decide where he wants to play out his future.
PG is expected to earn $19.5 million next season and the Pacers may want to examine trade possibilities so they don’t lose him next summer without any compensation. At 27, George is in the early stages of his prime but his trade value is capped since he can bolt for a new team within the next year. That being said, there would still be a large amount of teams interested in his services as he has proved to be one of the elite two-way talents in the NBA.
PG’s game-changing ability could turn a playoff team into a serious contender such as the Boston Celtics, a team he has been linked to on previous occasions. Around this same time next year, we should have a much clearer picture as to what George’s bright future will look like.