The Lakers were among the team’s to reach out to the Pacers regarding the availability of Paul George, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reports. New Lakers team president Magic Johnson and Pacers team president Larry Bird spoke today, but the conversation didn’t get past pleasantries and possibly gathering levels of interest. Shelburne notes that a George-to-the-Lakers trade remains unlikely.
George met with Pacers owner Herb Simon recently to discuss George’s future with the franchise. According to Shelburne, since those talks took place, Simon has invited teams to make offers for the small forward. The Pacers are listening to offers, which would presumably put them in a rebuilding situation, but at the same time, they remain interested in upgrade talent. The team continues to float its first-round pick in trade discussions with the hope that it can bring George some help should he remain on the roster past Thursday’s deadline.
David Aldridge of NBA.com previously reported that the Pacers are simply feeling out the market for George rather than shopping him and Shelburne confirms that report. She notes that the Celtics are eager to trade for George and they could present the Pacers with a strong offer that persuades Indiana to deal the 26-year-old before the team expected to.
Johnson continues to look for trades outside of bringing George to Los Angeles. Shelburne notes that a trade which involves sending away Jose Calderon or Nick Young is far more likely than a George trade.
George said that he doesn’t expect to be dealt before the deadline. “I have no concerns,” George told local reporters. “I’m here. I practiced today. My head is not wrapped around that. I’ve got a team to turn around in the second half and that’s what I’m committed to.”