The Paul George rumors are finally gaining steam. After reports that the Pacers are looking to make a deal to trade their superstar before he hits free agency, it appears as though the Lakers may finally budge on their previous stance of waiting until 2018.
The reason for the Lakers’ sudden change of heart, according to the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, is rumors that the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to add to their loaded core for a chance at another championship:
Two NBA sources expect Lakers to parachute into Paul George talks if the Cavs are closing in on a deal. Unclear if #2 would be on the table.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 19, 2017
The Cavs are one of a few teams who may not be dissuaded by Paul George’s reported insistence on becoming a Laker in 2018. They have a core ready to compete at the highest stage and giving George the opportunity to win his first title may take away the forward’s love of all things Lakers.
The Lakers are smartly biding their time to see if the Cavaliers are legitimately in the race. If they are, then they will likely move to find a good package to get George rather than risk losing him this year and beyond.
Of course, the caveat is that the Pacers could be leaking all this information to force the Lakers’ hand into giving more assets for George. But there have been multiple rumors from different sources regarding the Cavs’ interest, making this a very possible scenario.
Buckle up. It’s about to get real.