Lakers Rumors: Paul George Didn't Hide Intention to Play for LA with Pacers

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 23: Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 23, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 106-102 to sweep the series 4-0. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George reportedly was open about his desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, his former teammates say.

According to Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News, George "never made his long-term intentions a secret within the Pacers locker room" with regard to one day joining the Lakers.

George can opt out of his contract following the 2017-18 season, and the native of Palmdale, California, has long been rumored to have interest in heading to L.A.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported in February that George is "hell-bent" on joining the Lakers when he becomes a free agent.

Per Lawrence, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson recently hinted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that George is on his radar: "We gonna say 'hi' because we know each other. You just can't say, 'Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,' even though I'll be wink winking like, 'You know what that means right?'"

The four-time All-Star is coming off another strong season with the Pacers, as he averaged a career-high 23.7 points per game to go along with 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals.

Despite making some high-profile moves last offseason, Indiana finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and was swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Lakers have a great deal of young talent, including D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram, but lack a surefire superstar like George.

For more news, rumors and related stories about Paul George, the Indiana Pacers, the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA, check out the NBA, Pacers and Lakers streams on Bleacher Report's app.  

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