The Los Angeles Lakers have been tied to Paul George for quite some time, but it doesn’t appear the Purple and Gold will acquire the star forward via trade.
The Indiana Pacers, as expected, have set quite the price tag on George — just ask the Boston Celtics. And in order to hang on to their promising young guards, the Lakers likely will wait until next summer to actively pursue the four-time All-Star, according to the Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
“To be smart in free agency, the Lakers also have set their eyes on two realities,” Medina writes. “The Lakers are not expecting to acquire George from the Indiana Pacers amid their insistence on keeping Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. With their hopes set on George becoming available next summer, the Lakers want to pursue players who fit specific criteria that would accelerate the young roster’s development.”
George’s contract situation seems to be making most teams hesitant to swing a trade for him. He has one year remaining on his contract, thus making him a potential rental player if he were to be dealt. PG13 reportedly has L.A. as his preferred free-agent destination, so a trade would be counter-productive for both sides.
If the Lakers were to send a few young players to the Pacers in a deal for George, it might make Los Angeles not as attractive of a destination. The Lakers’ young crop of talent likely is appealing to George, so you’d imagine he’d want that intact if he were to join them as a free agent.
And while the Lakers likely won’t trade for George, the same can’t be said for other teams around the league. You never can count the Celtics out of a blockbuster, and the Cleveland Cavaliers also appear to be in the mix.
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