According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, after receiving information that Paul George is aiming to bolt for LA next summer, the Pacers are “moving fast” to find a suitable trade destination:
Sense from teams talking to IND is that Pacers intend to move fast on a PG deal.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 19, 2017
Lowe’s source being other teams rather than George or the Pacers makes the Lakers’ decision all the more interesting. Earlier reports have indicated that the team is not looking to trade for George given the signs that he will join them in free agency.
Original story follows:
The Paul George-to-LA scenario is picking up a lot of traction. On Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, reported that George told the Pacers he won’t re-sign with them, instead eyeing the Lakers as a possible destination in 2018.
There are a couple of options that the Lakers could implement in pursuing George. One is that they could wait for 2018 and figure a way to sign George to a max contract. Another way is that they could trade for George this summer. Regardless, the Lakers have a lot of leverage heading into the situation.
But according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers are not looking to trade any players of their young core for George.
Although George would constitute a significant acquisition for Los Angeles, the rebuilding Lakers do not currently intend to part with any of their young assets in a trade with the Pacers, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The Pacers, meanwhile, have already entered the trade market and are looking for options and packages in return for George. Those talks, so far, have not included the Lakers.
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 (@wojespn) June 18, 2017
This seems like the most logical approach for the Lakers. If George wants to be a Laker in 2018, then it would make little to no sense to give up valuable assets into acquiring him now.
The Lakers young core of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and second overall pick in this upcoming draft would give George more excitement to play with them.