While the future of Paul George wasn't decided at the deadline, his preference of options became somewhat clear.
George will strongly consider signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 if the Indiana Pacers aren't in contention for a title.
"Here's the issue with Paul George: he's made it clear that if he's going to leave Indiana, he's going home to L.A.," said Wojnarowski. "He grew up in southern California. Big Kobe Bryant fan. His dad is a big Magic Johnson fan. Obviously Magic is running the organization now.
"The direction that I was told that the Lakers got in the last couple of days was 'hey, don't gut your team to go get Paul George.'
"Magic Johnson did lob a call to Larry Bird, but if you're the Lakers and you don't have a tremendous amount of assets, they have some young players they hope will develop. They're going to sit back and wait to sign him as a free agent. They're going to have cap space in 2018.
"If they were to try to trade for him, they would have to give up the core of their team and Paul George is going to have no one to play with there.
"I think this is how the Pacers are looking at this. All things being equal, they know that Paul George would rather be in L.A., but they are not equal."
If George doesn't qualify for the supermax contract, the Pacers can sign him to a five-year, $180 million deal while a rival team can sign him to a four-year, $132 million deal.
The Nuggets were essentially warned that George will sign with the Lakers in 2018 if they trade for him.