Lance Stephenson Says He'll Tie Paul George to a Chair to Keep Wing with Pacers

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 04:  Lance Stephenson #6 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates during the 108-90 win over the Toronto Raptors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 4, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Lance Stephenson has only been back with the Indiana Pacers for three games, but he's already thinking about the team's future—specifically as it relates to Paul George

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Stephenson said he will do whatever it takes in order to keep George—who can opt out of his contract following the 2017-18 season—with the Pacers. 

"I gotta get all my guys, tie him up on a chair, and say, 'You ain't going nowhere, Paul George,'" he said, according to Fox Sports 97.5's Derek Schultz.

George is scheduled to earn $19.5 million next season, but he's able to get out of his deal with the Pacers in the summer of 2018 by declining a $20.7 million player option.  

Although that's a hefty sum to turn down, the league's rising salary cap and the Pacers' status as a middling Eastern Conference club on the outside of the title picture could force George to ponder a future elsewhere. 

Specifically, USA Today's Sam Amick reported George has his sights set on Purple and Gold surroundings. 

As rumors swirled around George's status with the Pacers at the February trade deadline, Amick reported "George - barring a title chance in Indy - is hell-bent on heading for Laker Land. This message has been sent throughout NBA."

The Pacers and Stephenson still have time to change his mind with a fruitful 2017-18 season, but anything less than a stunning vault into the Eastern Conference's elite realm figures to put George's status with the only NBA team he's ever known up in the air.

Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com


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