After it was announced that Paul George would be leaving the Indiana Pacers to test free agency in 2018, the Pacers gauged on what they could get in return for Paul George as a rental. From the sounds of it the Pacers weren’t going to get much at all.
League sources tell @RamonaShelburne and me: The Pacers and Lakers have engaged on Paul George trade talks in advance of Thursday's draft.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 20, 2017
In retrospect, this was all but predicted. Eventually the Pacers would likely not have a suitor for their rental player, and Paul George stated that LA is his most wanted destination. As stated before, the Lakers have all the leverage here so it’s highly unlikely the Lakers give away any of the previous #2 picks (Russell, Ingram) or the current #2 pick. Despite the Lakers holding all the cards it appears that the Pacers are hoping the Lakers panic and still sell high on George.
But sources told ESPN that it remains unclear whether the sides can agree to trade terms before the draft, given Indiana’s desire to acquire the Lakers’ No. 2 overall pick and L.A.’s well-chronicled reluctance to surrender it.
It is unknown if a deal between the two teams will get done by draft night. As previously reported, the Pacers are looking for at least a top 1st round picks and a starter. The Lakers are short on picks after barely being able to keep this one. With the Stepien rule at play here, they would be unable to part with the 2019 first round because you are not able to trade consecutive picks (even if the 2018 Lakers pick has been changed to 3 different teams already). The Lakers are likely going to stay put and see how this plays out, at least that’s what this writer is hoping for.