Lakers rumors have the team in hot pursuit of a trade for Paul George. These L.A. Lakers rumors indicate that the front office is even willing to give up its first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft to get a deal done. A report from NBC Sports states that the Lakers are willing to package that first-round pick with other assets in order to land George. He could quickly become popular in Los Angeles, possibly aiding in landing other top-name players.
One of the more important facets of these NBA trade rumors, is that the Indiana Pacers have given no indication that Paul George is even available. It’s possible that the L.A. Lakers will make a significant offer and still get turned down due to the value that the Pacers have attached to George. It’s certainly also possible that the Lakers could offer a package valuable enough that the Pacers would enter negotiations with earnest.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Lakers aren’t guaranteed to even have a first-round pick this summer. If that pick falls outside of the top three selections, then the pick would go to the Philadelphia 76ers. It is still tied up as an asset that was exchanged in the Steve Nash trade, but the Lakers could keep control by having a good day during the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery. The lottery takes place on May 19, with the results playing out live on television. The Lakers need to be slotted in one of the top three spots to maintain control of the selection.
Paul George still has three years left on his big contract with the Indiana Pacers. He will make about $18.1 million for the 2016-17 NBA season and then $19.3 million for the 2017-18 NBA season. George then has a player option worth $20.5 million for the 2018-19 NBA season that he can decide to accept or opt out of in the future. By opting out of that final year of the deal, George could then look for a max contract in free agency. If his play on the court remains as good as it has been, that should be an easy task.
In order for the L.A. Lakers rumors to actually lead to anything, the Lakers would have to give up more than just a top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Lakers would also likely have to part ways with D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle. Both players have the youth and talent which could help the Pacers in the short-term, especially when coupled with a highly-touted draft pick. The ultimate question becomes whether the Pacers and team president Larry Bird would want to go through another rebuilding effort.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Paul George started 81 games for the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. George was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team again and finished seventh best in the league for defensive win shares. Having just turned 26-years-old, George is entering the prime years of his NBA career, likely raising his value on the trade market even further. That might price him out of the neighborhood where the Lakers reside.
The Lakers are going to make many moves during the NBA offseason, so a trade offer to the Pacers might just be one of the maneuvers in store for fans. The team has a lot of salary cap space with Kobe Bryant off the books, with the ability to offer two max deals in free agency. Names like Kevin Durant and LeBron James have come up, but as these latest L.A. Lakers rumors predict, the front office would like to add a big name through trade in order to lure more free agents.
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]