The Indiana Pacers were just swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the sweep, Paul George played exceptionally well throughout the series, as the Pacers were competitive in three of the four games. This season the Pacers were the 7th seed, going 42-20, and acquired a few positive pieces to build on for the future. With that being said, many feel that Game Four was George’s last game as a Pacer and there is great speculation that he is looking to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported back in February that George was “hell-bent” on joining the Lakers when he becomes a free agent. According to the Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News, George’s teammates have said that he’s pretty much told them that he wants to play for the Lakers.
“He’s never made his long-term intentions a secret within the Pacers’ locker room, according to former teammates. He wants to wear the purple and gold.”
Would this be a good move for Paul George?
This season George averaged a career best 23.7 points, six boards and three assists a night and is moving into the prime of his career. The Lakers on the other hand, coached by Luke Walton, have a young and very talented core that has the potential to be very dangerous in the future. Los Angeles has D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram, each of whom has very unique skill sets. Would it be smart for the Lakers to go after Paul George this offseason? Yes. If the Lakers can maintain their top 3 pick they would seem to have enough assets to obtain Paul George via trade. Paul George joining forces with the young talent that the Lakers already have would likely set up a team that will be a force in the Western Conference a few years down the line. I think this would be a great move for not only the Lakers but for the career of Paul George.
President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson just the other day joked about the Lakers’ interest in George on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Johnson’s remarks come around the 3:30 mark.
There clearly is an interest on both ends, but until the Draft Lottery, this is all just speculation. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.