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For months, the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have been circling one another with Paul George the primary discussing point.
On Tuesday, the two sides took a big step closer as the Lakers dealt D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick in the NBA Draft.
However, the two sides now remain at a standstill. Per Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, the Lakers’ current offer of Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle plus the 27th and 28th picks in the NBA Draft remains on the table.
The problem, however, is that the Pacers remain insistent on the Lakers including the second pick in the draft, something the Lakers are insistent on not including.
While the two sides remain circling one another, there is still an expectation that move is completed ahead of Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
Nonetheless, Pacers will continue to talk to teams. I'm told it's "highly likely" Paul George gets traded before the draft.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 21, 2017
The whole discussion is moving at a blistering pace considering we’re just over 48 hours removed from George telling the Pacers he would be leaving at the end of the season.
In that time, the Pacers have canvassed the league for deals, but appear to be locked in on the Lakers, though the Cavs and others reportedly remain interested.
With George insisting that he will be a rental if he’s traded anywhere but the Lakers, the Pacers’ hand appears to be forced and a deal with the Lakers remains the most likely.
What that deal may consist of and when it is executed remains anybody’s guess as the frenetic NBA off-season pushes on.