So it turns out my earlier article was wrong….The Lakers are trying to trade for Paul George. According to Sam Amick of USA TODAY, the Lakers do not want to wait for George to be a free agent.
“George will be a free agent in the summer of 2018, and it’s no secret that the 26-year-old Palmdale, Calif. native would love nothing more than to sign with his hometown Lakers if the future is bleak in Indiana. The fact that the Lakers are in the process of trying to land George right now, with new lead executive Magic Johnson moving fast to fill that superstar hole that Kobe Bryant left behind, only makes these next two days all the more compelling.”
There is a valid argument on why the Lakers should trade for George now. Superstars are hard to get and you should do it while you can, he may be traded else where and sign an extension there, or he may work things out with the Pacers. But there more reasons to wait. George has made it more than clear he wants to win. He would need a supporting cast to do that, and that supporting cast would have to be at the very least broken up to trade for him. It could end up like a Carmelo in New York type situation. Even worse he may bolt LA when he strikes free agency. While Adrian Adrian Wojnarowski reported George had interest in signing with the Lakers, that probably means with the Lakers how they are right now, with D’Angelo Russell, Brandon, Ingram, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr, Ivica Zubac, and Jordan Clarkson. Not with a Laker team with just 2 or 3 of those guys.
Of course in the end it depend on what the Pacers ask. I would not be willing to trade Russell or Ingram, and it would be hard for me to trade Randle (it depends on who else is in the trade then). But it’s not what I want. Its what Magic wants.
Note: It appears Indiana isn’t seriously shopping Paul George. We’ll keep you updated
Multiple teams around the league believe Indy isn't seriously shopping Paul George, & is gathering info rather than looking to move him now.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 22, 2017