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With the 2017 NBA Draft now just three days away, what readily appeared to already be a difficult decision for Magic Johnson & Co., has turned into something much more of a convoluted situation.
Now having formally acknowledged his intentions to leave the Pacers organization come the 2017-18 offseason, Pacers’ star Paul George has complicated matters for Johnson and his team, who had already invested an extensive amount of time in working players out who might serve as potential draft prospects for their #2 and #28 picks, respectively.
With news of Indiana inquiring the Cleveland Cavaliers about a potential deal involving George, you have to wonder how this now might have affected the Lakers thinking, in their pursuit of George.
Consider it a dilemma of sorts: Should the Lakers look to acquire another first round draft pick, so as to provide them with an opportunity to enter the George sweepstakes? Or should they stand pat, as have been their expressed intentions, and just wait for him in 2018 free agency?
It’s a tough draw on either side. If the Pacers are indeed intent on trading the dissatisfied star as soon as possible, much less, to a contender, there’s no reason why George wouldn’t re-sign with said team, if his priority is ultimately to win a championship.
For Johnson and the Lakers, who have stressed patience and growth from within, it now becomes a story of whether you draft players that will support the structure of what the team currently looks like, what you think might accommodate a George-centered team, or should you gut from the foundation of the current core, if you fear Cleveland or another contender acquiring George via trade, and losing out on him altogether, before you even had a chance.
A lot to ponder on if you’re the Lakers, if you ask me.
With draft week officially upon us, it’s fair to say that Lakers’ management has their work cut out for themselves.