Latest On Paul George And The Lakers

Paul George has been talking about playing for the Lakers for years, an anonymous former teammate tells Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News. The small forward never made his desire to play for Los Angeles a secret within the team’s locker room, according to George’s former Pacers teammate.

Lakers team president Magic Johnson will likely pursue George and look to build a title contender around him, sources tell Lawrence. Johnson alluded to such plans during a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Lawrence acknowledges that George is a tremendous talent but hears that his leadership ability is being questioned around the league. Rival teams noticed how George handled himself in the media following the team’s Game 1 loss where C.J. Miles took the last shot instead of passing it to George. “C.J. took it upon himself,” George said following the game. “I’m confident in all my guys taking shots, that’s not the issue. But in that situation like that, I’ve gotta get that.”

A star should want the ball at the end of the game, but taking issue with teammates through the media is not the way top players should lead. “He’s not a winner by saying that [stuff] in public,” one GM told Lawrence. “That’s no way to support a teammate, but that’s how Paul rolls.”

Those comments after Game 1, along with George’s statements about Lance Stephenson‘s body language, have irritated members of the Pacers organization, particularly coach Nate McMillan and team president Larry Bird.

Several NBA executives are under the belief that George’s unhappiness and public blaming of teammates is a result of the Pacers not surrounding him with the right pieces.  Lawrence believes the Lakers need to surround George with “strong-willed” veterans should they trade for him this year or sign him next summer. One GM told Lawrence that the Celtics would be a much better fit than the Lakers because of Boston’s personnel.

Lawrence speculates that the team could part with D’Angelo Russell and/or Julius Randle in a hypothetical trade for George. The scribe adds that Brandon Ingram may not be on the table due to his high ceiling.

George said publicly that he hasn’t yet made a decision on his future with Indiana. “I ain’t even at that point, yet,” George said. He can become a free agent next summer by turning down a player option, which is worth approximately $20.7MM.

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20 thoughts on “Latest On Paul George And The Lakers

  1. Southern Conservative

    Better trade all 3 of Ingram, Randle and Russell then. If I were IND, I wouldn’t take anything less.

    • TJECK109

      I’m sure the Lakers would jump all over that. Not sure what you are smoking if you want that type of package

      • Southern Conservative

        Yeah it’s a lot. But George is a legit star. IND should play hardball. If they balk, say ok keep Randle but the other 2 are a must, plus some picks.

    • Hatman

      Ind has no leverage with George being a free agent after next year no way they trade all 3

          • Southern Conservative

            Nah he’ll take the big money from IND. then if he’s still being a diva, he will force his way out after that. Either some one sends A TON to IND now or in the future. He doesn’t come cheap, no star does.

  2. Connorsoxfan

    FWIW there’s been a lot of crap with infighting in Boston. I don’t think adding George to that cesspool is a great idea. Smart is probably the biggest issue so if he went back, Crowder as well, I wouldn’t have an issue.

    • Reflect

      Yeah I didn’t really get that either? Boston has a historical reputation for being tough and I guess that’s where the comment came from. The current team is not one I’d define as cohesive or strong willed though.

    • Smart’s leadership and toughness are two of his biggest strengths, and that’s coming from Stevens and other players. Also, the players have talked about how they are like family all throughout the season…all quotable…not sure where you guys are hearing that the team isn’t cohesive off the court,but that’s been far from the truth.

  3. Dionis

    Trade all 3 whats the point of keeping one? Blow everything up and put George and Griffin together in LA with D-Rose

    • jeremy

      funny so blow up a team to add 3 good players two being injury prone. what good would that do us when 60% of the time blake and rose might be hurt

    • BSPORT

      Blow up what they have been building? Trade nothing for George. He is available next year without anybody gone. By then you will know what you have in players developing. Lakers trading young talent for George for a year will not make team a championship team.

  4. bowserhound

    Why trade anyone for him this year when he could come as a FA after next year?

    If any trade happens that does not include Deng or Mozgov, forget it.

  5. AlexSandez

    If we keep the pick
    Clarkson/Mozgov/Hou 1st for B.Lopez/KJ McDaniels
    Russell/Randle/Black for PG

    Ball/Ennis
    Ingram/KJ
    PG/Deng
    Nance/Robinson
    Lopez/Zubac

    • Manny Quinn

      Ball / Ennis / Filler
      Ingram / KJ / Nwaba
      PG / Deng / Brewer
      Ibaka/ Nance / Robinson
      Lopez / Zubac / Filler

    • Reflect

      Considering he took a trash team to the playoffs idk I think he’s rated just fine.

  6. BSPORT

    Magic should offer Phil, Russell and Randle for Porzingis. Then sign George or a better option next year.

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