The stage is set for Paul George to come to the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018. The superstar forward wants to return home and dawn the purple and gold, but things will get interesting in the meantime with the Indiana Pacers apparently talking about a George trade with other teams.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Pacers new team president, Kevin Pritchard, is engaging teams other than the Lakers in trade talks for George:
Sources: Indiana's Kevin Pritchard engaging teams on trading Paul George, but so far, not Lakers. There's a rental market, but how robust? https://t.co/oM9XrATMr9
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 18, 2017
With the knowledge that George intends to sign with the team next summer, the Lakers brass might not be willing to sacrifice young assets or meet the asking price for George in trade talks with the Pacers. This may have been what led Pritchard to pursue other deals before trying to strike a deal with the team that George eventually wants to go to.
Although George may not initially land in Los Angeles, all signs continue to point to the superstar wearing the purple and gold in the near future. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that George is traded to another on a one-year rental and then simply walks in free agency to sign with the Lakers.
However, Magic Johnson and company may not be willing to wait, especially with the Staples Center hosting the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. Team president Jeanie Buss has said that she would be heartbroken if the team’s arena is hosting the event without a representative from the Lakers.
The Lakers appear motivated to improve the team as soon as possible and land that elusive superstar, but it remains to be seen whether they’re willing to part with young talent for a player they may have to only wait one year for.