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The over-arching storyline surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer and off-season has been the pursuit of Paul George.
With the talk dominating the headlines, even current Laker players have begun to take notice. In a podcast with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Larry Nance Jr. talked of adding a player like George to the roster.
“That’s a superstar. There’s very few of those in the NBA. Any team he goes to, he’s going to up their win total quite a bit. It is exciting. It’s a little bit of both, exciting (and) nerve-wracking because in order to get a player like that, you got to give something up. This kind of used to be my favorite time of the year, getting to follow it, pay attention to it. Now it’s a little bit more real when you’re potentially in the mix. It’s a whole different world that opened up now.”
Even more enticing, when asked to predict if George would be in a Laker jersey at the start of the season, Nance said yes.
Kennedy: “When the season starts, the upcoming season, is Paul George wearing a Lakers jersey, yes or no?”
Nance: “That’s really putting me on the spot there. Just to make it fun, I’m going to say yes.”
While Nance hedged his bets, it’s clear even the current Lakers want a player like George on the team.
The likelihood of that happening prior to the season, however, appears to be slowly fading. The most recent update on the talks indicated the Pacers were in no hurry to deal George by draft night.
That could mean the Lakers are confident enough in him coming to Los Angeles in the summer of 2018 that they don’t feel the need to make a big offer for him. It could also mean the Pacers are more stubborn and bullish than expected and are holding out for a better deal.
Regardless of what it means, it’s clear the Lakers’ current players are excited for a chance to play with a superstar like George. Only time will tell when that moment comes.