George, 27, is one year away from free agency but is keeping his eye on joining his hometown Lakers. Amick notes that George idolized Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and despite the gap in dollars, George is “more focused on legacy than ever.” Also, with the Lakers not having made the playoffs since the 2012/13 season, George “believes he can lift the Lakers out of the darkness,” Amick writes.
The Lakers could entertain trading for George but would run the risk of surrendering their No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft this year. Also, the team reportedly feels confident it can lure George to Los Angeles in free agency next year, but run the risk of Indiana trading him elsewhere, which could lead to George re-signing with his new team. In either case, Amick paints a picture of a man who wants to be in Los Angeles sooner than later.
Here are additional notes around the Pacific Division:
- The Lakers should trade their No. 2 overall pick to the Pacers and acquire George this offseason, Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated opines. Spears points out that acquiring George, a four-time All-Star, is the biggest upgrade any team can make this offseason. While such a deal could also appeal to a club like the Celtics, the growing belief that George wants to end up in L.A. makes it less viable for other suitors to roll the dice — still, the Lakers may not want to take the risk of letting him land elsewhere.
- With point guard Lonzo Ball the likely No. 2 overall pick by his hometown Lakers, his outspoken father, LaVar Ball, figures to come with the package. Head coach Luke Walton believes somebody in the organization will reach out to UCLA to gauge just how involved the elder Ball will be,
- Despite no playoff appearances since 2006 and a slew of disappointing draft picks, new executive vice president of basketball operations Scott Perry is optimistic on the Kings’ future. Speaking to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Perry wants to bring a winning culture back to the team.“I am very excited about this opportunity to help Vlade and ownership to get the Kings back to the culture they had a while back,” he said. “There is a lot of young talent in the fold. Through the draft, we can create some pieces. It’s an exciting time.”
- NBA.com has the full list of prospects scheduled to participate in a pre-draft workout with the Kings this upcoming Monday. Among the scheduled participants are Pittsburgh’s Jamel Artis, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier, Vanderbilt’s Luke Kornet and more.