Just days since the Lakers replaced Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss, the newly minted head of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, has been a busy bee. The Lakers immediately got to work and traded their top scorer for future considerations. However, it seems that the Lakers are not yet done as the franchise are looking to nab Paul George.
According to CBS Sports, the Lakers are in the process of trying to trade for Paul George. This comes on the heels of reports that George is mulling over signing with his hometown Lakers by the time his free agency hits. Paul George has been in the rumor mills for quite some time now, and he has been linked to teams like the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics. However, this latest rumor with the Los Angeles Lakers seems to be the stronger one.
Paul George has already stated his desire to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. He would probably do this if the Pacers continue to have losing seasons. If the Pacers’ plan is to rebuild, they may have no choice but to deal George this season or the next. Either way, the Los Angeles Lakers and Paul George seem to be an inevitable partnership.
Paul George to sign with the Lakers in 2018? . The Indiana Pacers are testing the trade market on All-Star forward Paul George, league sources told The Vertical. The Pacers are working the trade deadline on parallel fronts: Pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension – and soliciting deal offers on George that would mean a rebuild around center Myles Turner, league sources told The Vertical. Ultimately, the Pacers will have to evaluate the two paths and make a decision before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. There’s no urgency to make a deal for George, unless the Pacers fear the Boston Celtics could ultimately provide Indiana the best possible package of assets in a deal – and think that option could disappear if Boston makes a deal with Chicago for Jimmy Butler. For teams considering a trade for George, HERE'S THE RISK: As a free agent in the summer of 2018, he has considered re-signing with Indiana OR joining his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell The Vertical (extremely reliable/legit source) Teams trading for George run the risk of losing the four-time All-Star to a Lakers franchise that will have the salary-cap space to sign him in 2018. The Lakers’ hiring of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations will be an interesting twist to George’s free-agent recruitment, given that Johnson has been something of a George family icon going back to George’s childhood in nearby Palmdale, California. (Yahoo Sports)
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According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo, other teams are going to stay away from making a deal for Paul George because of the risks involved. If the Pacers feel that George is slowly slipping away from the franchise, then they may have no choice but to send the talented small forward to the Lakers. Wojnarowski said it best in his article.
“Teams trading for George run the risk of losing the four-time All-Star to a Lakers franchise that will have the salary-cap space to sign him in 2018. The Lakers’ hiring of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations will be an interesting twist to George’s free-agent recruitment, given that Johnson has been something of a George family icon going back to George’s childhood in nearby Palmdale, Calif.”
Magic Johnson and his new General Manager seems to be hell bent on changing the Lakers’ fortunes after so much losing these past few years. They are also under an incredible amount of pressure as their hiring is seen as the team’s salvation. If the Lakers could get someone like Paul George, then it will ease a lot of pressure from the new front office of the Los Angeles Lakers.
NEWS????: Magic Johnson has stated that it's a priority for the Lakers to hold on to the young talent. He wants them to grow under Luke. He's been asked by many GMs about the young core and has rejected them all. (via Mike Trudell) #losangeles#lakers#magicjohnson#jordanclarkson#dangelorussell#ivicazubac#brandoningram#juliusrandle#larrynancejr
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Paul George would also give the young and talented Lakers a fresh look. George is a bona fide superstar who can score from anywhere on the floor. The four-time all-star is a great isolation player and is a nightmare from the perimeter. The Lakers will finally have a go-to scorer that can give them buckets whenever they need it. The young guys of the Lakers will benefit from having someone like Paul George carry the burden of being the face of a franchise as illustrious as the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, it is worth noting that the Indiana Pacers have been reluctant in dealing Paul George. The Los Angeles Lakers may have to wait until 2018 to get a chance to sign George once he becomes a free agent. From the looks of it, the Pacers will need to start competing for the playoffs before the 2018 free agency hits. The best course of action for the Indiana Pacers is to hold on to Paul George this season and see how things pan out next season. If it does not work out for them then they could always restart talks with the Lakers. Either way, it seems like Paul George is going to be a Lakers one way or the other.
The trade deadline is about to pass and fans of Los Angeles Lakers should keep their eyes peeled regarding Paul George.
[Featured Image by Allex Gallardo/AP Images]