Is LA willing to trade the #2 pick?
Trading for George now would obviously come at a cost for the Lakers, but it would also insulate them from the possibility that another team gambles on a one-season rental with the highly coveted two-way swingman and uses a successful season to persuade George to stay.
Last year, George had arguably his best season in his seven-year National Basketball Association career with the Indiana Pacers.
In addition to the news, Zach Lowe is reporting that the Pacers are going to try and move quickly on making a deal.
How much leverage do the Pacers have?
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"Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported the Clippers have expressed interest in George via potential sign-and-trade". Instead, it becomes more problematic to keep him on the team and other franchises will not offer full value for one year of "rent a player". "New team president Kevin Pritchard has engaged in trade talks with teams such as the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers". Sources say that David Griffin, in his final few days as Cavaliers general manager, aggressively pursued trades for both Butler and George, seeking to acquire an elite two-way player in the wake of Cleveland's 4-1 NBA Finals defeat inflicted by the Golden State Warriors.
Over the weekend, George told the Pacers that he will not re-sign with IN after next season.
With a Paul George trade seemingly on the horizon and the Pacers likely to deal George before the draft. Former number 2 overall picks D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram would most likely be included in the deal. Additionally, after years of avoiding giving up a first-round pick to the 76ers, the Lakers' tanking charade is finally over - their 2018 pick is unprotected and will go the Sixers, meaning there is no incentive for the Lakers to be bad during the 2017-18 season.
Where do the Lakers fit in all this fiasco? This illustrates the Law of Unintended Consequences - George believed that telling the Pacers of his plans would put the team in a better position to succeed after his exit.
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