2:21 PM: The Pacers have filed paperwork with the league claiming that the Lakers are guilty of tampering, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, and the league will investigate the possibility of impermissible contact between Johnson and George.
Wojnarowski adds that the Lakers are denying the allegations and they expect to be cleared of any wrongdoing.
An investigator for the NBA has contacted Lakers President Magic Johnson, GM Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss, according to Vecsey, asking for “any correspondence pertaining to” George, his agent Aaron Mintz and George’s parents.
The Indianapolis Star has reached out to the Pacers and the NBA for confirmation of the report, but neither has responded so far.
Mintz met with Pacers president Kevin Pritchard earlier this summer to inform him that George intended to opt out of his contract next year and planned to leave Indiana. A southern California native, George’s preference has long been rumored as signing with the Lakers. The Pacers found a soft trade market for George, with most of the league believing he is headed to L.A. next summer, and wound up dealing him to Oklahoma City in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
If the Pacers are alleging tampering, they must believe the Lakers had behind-the-scenes contact with the All-Star forward that influenced his plans. L.A. has been been focusing on short-term contracts and is clearly setting up its roster to maximize cap room for next summer, but the league would have have to find concrete evidence of improper contact with George or his representatives to impose any penalties against the team.