Report: George wants to play for hometown Lakers in 2018
Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

Unless the Indiana Pacers can somehow become title contenders, Paul George is "hell-bent" on joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, according to USA Today's Sam Amick.

That's the message being sent around the NBA, Amick said, following multiple reports that George wouldn't sign a contract extension with any team that acquires him before Thursday's trade deadline.

The Los Angeles County native can opt out of his current contract after next season. Therefore, if he was traded to a team other than the Lakers, that team would risk him leaving as a free agent for L.A.

There were reports throughout the day Thursday that the Boston Celtics had made overtures to the Pacers for George, but nothing was imminent.

The news would put the onus on the Pacers to try to enhance the roster around George immediately. While not blockbuster material, team president Larry Bird had talks with the Sacramento Kings regarding Arron Afflalo, according to Amick.

Report: George wants to play for hometown Lakers in 2018
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