The trade rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers have been swirling for weeks. However, rumors about Paul George’s immediate future were kicked into high gear this week with the superstar letting be known that he intends to leave the Indiana Pacers next summer and sign with the Lakers in free agency.
On Friday, following the press conference to introduce No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball, Magic Johnson spoke to the media and made it clear another trade may still happen, via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
Magic said Lakers aren't close yet to another deal. But things could still happen.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 23, 2017
The latest trade rumors involving George have him linked to the Boston Celtics. A rumor surfaced yesterday that Boston was in serious talks to acquire the superstar, but then talks stalled.
Along with admitting that another trade could be on the horizon, Magic also said that making the trade to move D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov wouldn’t have been made if they didn’t think they could land a big-name player in free agency, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Magic just said LAL wouldn't have made that BKN trade & gotten that cap room, if they didn't expect to be "major players" in free agency '18
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 23, 2017
Only time will tell if the Lakers can put together a trade package that intrigues the Pacers. So far, it doesn’t appear that Los Angeles has submitted an offer that can get a deal done for George, but there will certainly be a lot of back and forth until the perennial All-Star is dealt.
At this point, it seems that other teams, even though George has made it clear he’d be a one-year rental for any team not named the Lakers, are offering more than Los Angeles is willing to in trade talks. If that changes or other teams back out of talks, the Lakers could keep their leverage and may ultimately land George sooner rather than later.