The Los Angeles Lakers have a number of big names targeted that they hope to get to join the franchise in the coming years. One who was linked consistently since last season was former Indiana Pacers wing Paul George.
The Lakers reportedly tried to deal for George this offseason, but were unable to come to an agreement with the Pacers, who ultimately moved him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now there seems to be questions about whether the Lakers crossed the line in their pursuit of the four-time All-Star.
According to NBA Insider Peter Vecsey, the Lakers are reportedly being investigated for tampering with George:
NBA investigating Lakers 4 purported tampering w PGeorge. Independent law firm handling interviews of Buss, Magic. https://t.co/MnaPpaFUJh
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) August 20, 2017
In addition to both Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson being interviewed, general manager Rob Pelinka was also reportedly by the independen law firm in charge of this investigation. Pacers owner Herb Simon is the person who filed the charges against the Lakers.
This is a serious accusation being harbored against the franchise and if it is proven that they had illegal contact with him, there will be serious consequences which could included forfeiting draft picks or not being allowed to sign George once he does become a free agent.
Many fans surely remember Magic’s infamous ‘wink wink’ comment during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but these accusations undoubtedly stretch well beyond that comment.
This is not the kind of news the organization hoped to be making this off-season, but this investigation will be worth watching extremely closely until everything is solved and a finding is revealed. The Lakers’ free agency plans could be squashed before they ever were able to put anything in motion if there turns out to have been some foul play this summer.