Magic Johnson has only been the president of basketball operations for a day and the five-time NBA champion is already making moves ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers may be in the team’s crosshairs of the deadline.
On Wednesday, news broke of George considering signing with the Lakers once if he hits the free agent market, and now it appears Johnson may be pushing to trade for the perennial All-Star before the deadline, according to Sam Amick of USA Today:
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.
With the Lakers desperately looking for their next face of the franchise with Kobe Bryant now retired, George fits the bill and it certainly helps that he’s a hometown product.
George, who publicly forced the hand of the Pacers brass during the All-Star break, wants to win and things aren’t working out the way he hoped in Indiana. Although the Lakers are in a rebuilding process, the team would get a considerable boost with the addition of the 26-year-old.
Depending on what the Lakers would have to give up in exchange for George, the Lakers would at the very least have a playoff contender with the star forward in the fold.
The Lakers will have until 12 p.m. PST on Thurs. Feb. 23 to get a deal done if trade talks are truly taking place between the two teams.