Indiana Pacers Rumors
Although the Lakers have entertained trade discussions with the Indiana Pacers for small forward Paul George, league sources familiar with the situation said it’s more likely the Lakers will wait to pursue him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the 2018 offseason. Then, the Lakers would not have to surrender any of their young assets.
A league source agreed with an NBA.com report that the Los Angeles Lakers could be a possible destination for Jahlil Okafor. The website also reported that the Sacramento Kings are another possibility. So are the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams to have inquired about the availability of Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George in recent days, according to league sources.
While the conversation didn’t go beyond an initial expression of interest — which is common in the NBA in advance of the trade deadline — it’s notable simply for the names involved: New Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Pacers president Larry Bird, lifelong rivals and close friends, were on the phone together.
Sources confirmed to ESPN in the wake of that meeting with Simon that Indiana has since invited teams like the Lakers and Boston Celtics to make pitches for George this week in advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Sources continued to say that, while there remains a chance things could change as the deadline draws nearer, Chicago and Indiana are more likely to retain Jimmy Butler and Paul George, respectively. Those All-Star talents have been the Celtics’ two main targets, and the club will no doubt work to put together an attractive trade package if either is truly on the market.
One agent with ties to a potential deal insists that even preliminary talk between the Bulls and Celtics recently went nowhere when the C’s did not want to include this summer’s Nets choice. There is no definitive word on whether they would be willing to include it for George, though that would certainly seem likely and even a requirement from Indiana’s standpoint.