Paul George hasn’t talked to Kobe Bryant about what it would be like to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
But it sounds like he’s going to.
George made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday night, so naturally, the Lakers chatter came up. Jimmy Kimmel asked him if he’s spoken with Kobe about donning purple and gold, to which George replied “Not yet.” He did, however, reveal he’ll be working out with Bean at some point over the offseason.
Here’s the clip of this exchange:
You cannot feel great about this interview if you’re an Indiana Pacers fan who wants George to stick around. Though he says “I love” Indiana, he essentially confirms his interest in playing for the Lakers. And with him set to explore free agency in 2018 (player option), this isn’t something you want to hear.
All-NBA voting could render this a non-issue. If George is named to one of the three teams, he’ll be eligible for a super-max extension that’s tacked on to the one year remaining on his current contract. He’ll be hard-pressed to turn down an offer worth in excess of $200 million.
But would the Pacers offer him that deal if he were eligible? Would they sign him with the intention of trading him later? Would he even accept it, or might he still opt to control his own fate next summer?
There’s a lot to unpack here, and it’s unlikely a resolution to his low-key soap opera presents itself anytime soon. But the outlook for all parties involved should be much clearer once All-NBA squads are announced.