If things don't work out in Indiana, Paul George is probably going to be a Laker.
Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George has been the subject of a lot of trade talk as the deadline approaches, with teams like the Celtics and Nuggets both reportedly expressing interest.
With 30 minutes to go until the deadline, though, it looks like the 26-year-old star is going to be staying put in Indiana - for now.
A reason why a team like the Celtics might not be willing to give up a ton for George is that he's reportedly "hell-bent" on joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 as a free agent, if things don't work out in Indiana. So, whoever trades for him has to trade for him knowing he could easily leave in a year, and that'll likely prevent Indiana from getting the type of package it wants.
George grew up in California and played collegiately at Fresno State before getting drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 10th overall selection in 2010. He grew up idolizing Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
"I was the whole nine," George said. "Anything you can think of. I had the Kobe jersey. I would do the Kobe walk. I would walk around the house doing the Kobe stare-down face. Anything you can name, I was idolizing him, trying to be like him."
George needed an idol. He wasn't an automatic basketball hotshot; he wasn't even as good as his sister. He needed something to prop up as a goal, someone to believe in as a true how-to paragon.
The Lakers are in rebuild mode right now, but the addition of Magic Johnson and, possibly, PG13 in 2018 could really speed up Los Angeles' path back to contention in the Western Conference.
The trade deadline is 3 p.m. E.T. this afternoon.