• Paul George

Paul George (Photo : Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The rumors about Paul George's interest in signing with his hometown LA Lakers are hearing up.

Despite George's free agency being a season and a half away on the summer of 2018, most pundits believe it's a foregone conclusion. George is clearly disappointed with how the Pacers have failed to acquire more talent before the trade deadline expired.

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George placed the onus on Larry Bird to build a contender but Bird doesn't have too many options. With George leading the charge, the Pacers are always a fringe playoff team so they could not get a lottery pick. The last time they got a top 14 pick was when George was recovering from a horrific injury. They managed to grab Myles Turner who is now recognized as a cornerstone of the franchise.

According to Whitney Medworth of SB Nation, the Pacers have already failed George.

"We're three years removed from those LeBron James battles and only 18 months away from George's free agency, yet the Pacers have no positive momentum. They still don't know who they are as they build around George, Teague, and young big man Myles Turner. They pledged to provide George more help at this trade deadline and came up empty handed."

Medworth cited the failed experiments of the Pacers, including putting George at power forward just after he recovered from his injury, which led to a public spat between George and Bird. Then, the Pacers fired Frank Vogel, the coach that brought out the best in PG13 who led them to consecutive Eastern Conference Finals.

Vogel's replacement, Nate McMillan, also hasn't brought the changes that they wanted. "His teams have always been quite slow, in fact. Why was Nate McMillan the choice to coach a faster-paced team?" Medworth asked.

Perhaps the last straw was trading George Hill in favor of Jeff Teague. Teague has done well, but he is an impending free agent. That would be another litmus test for Indiana this summer.

But the buzz around the league with the LA Lakers is serious as Sam Amick of  USA Today insinuated. "George will be a free agent in the summer of 2018, and it's no secret that the 26-year-old Palmdale, Calif. native would love nothing more than to sign with his hometown Lakers if the future is bleak in Indiana."

More sportswriters like Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Matt Moore of CBS among others have agreed with this assertion. The Pacers are now on the clock-either they improve their roster or try to win with what they have.