Lakers Under Investigation For Tampering

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.

9:25 AM: The Pacers are expected to pursue tampering charges against the Lakers regarding Paul George, Peter Vecsey reports on his new pay site, Patreon.

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.

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19 thoughts on “Lakers Under Investigation For Tampering

  1. chucky25

    everybody knows they did,but proving it is a whole different story,so it’ll just be a waste of time for all involved

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  2. imindless
    imindless

    Pacers are really try to reach for some type of compensation. Had the pacers done a straight trade with the lakers they would have gotten better pieces that what they got. Pacers are about to be one of the worst teams for the next 5 years.

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    • SD Speak For Myself

      But we won’t have the grossly over paid PG choking like a dog at the end of games! Pacers likely to be too good and miss lottery. Lakers offer is BS…they will get PG in 12 months. No need to trade for him. OKC gets screwed again!

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      • bravesbeast95

        Lol at grossly overpaid pg….the only reason the pacers have been relevant over the last decade is because of pg13

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        • SD Speak For Myself

          Look at his salary…look at his stats…tell me you want him on your team. O-fer in game changing shots this past year. He doesn’t play D since his injury. Pacers fans say: good riddance. Pacers have not been relevant since Reggie retired. With PG….we have been Cavs doormat.

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    • Considering the rumors that the Lakers offer was Randle, Clarkson, and a late first round pick, I wouldn’t be too sure that the Lakers reported offer is better than what the Pacers got. Oladipo is over paid, but he’s better than Clarkson. Sabonis is too early in his career to say that he will be better or worse than Randle. The late first rounder would’ve been nice, but not a guarantee it turns out to be anyone good.

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  3. hiflew

    Isn’t tampering the way things work in the NBA? Players “recruit” free agents all the time. Last time I checked they work for the organization.

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    • hiflew

      Dang, you need an edit function. What I meant to add was does anyone really believe that those players don’t speak of this while still under contract?

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      • JD396

        You don’t see a difference between players texting each other and meetings between agents and FO decision makers?

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        • hiflew

          Yes I do see that difference. Don’t you see how it can be easily worked around?

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        • hiflew

          I am fully aware that they don’t apply to players. Which is exactly why management can (and should) take advantage of that situation as long as they are allowed. For example, why not have John Wall recruit his old college teammate DeMarcus Cousins? Management could give Wall all of the info he needs. Players are not idiots, they can use all of the same information as management.

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  4. dodgerfan711

    Pacers are just mad. They rejected better offers for george just to get him in a different location. The Lakers offer was better than what the thunder easy

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    • I wouldn’t call the Lakers reported offer better (assuming it was Randle, Clarkson, and a late first rounder; Oladipo > Clarkson, Sabonis is too early in his career to call better or worse than Randle, and the first round pick would’ve been a hit or miss thing). And I kind of agree that the Pacers purposely didn’t trade him to LA, but I don’t blame them either. He killed any leverage they would’ve had by saying he wanted to play in LA. At that point, what do the Pacers owe George to send him to LA to be happy? Considering the hectic state he put the organization in, they probably didn’t send him to LA out of spite.

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    • The Pacers won’t be in the cellar. They’re just good enough that they won’t be a bottom 5 team (especially in the East) but their recent history also proves that they are managed well enough to not be a cellar dweller. Since 2000, they’ve only had one season where they finished below a 40% win percentage. In fact, since the 1976-1977 season (their first year in the NBA) they’ve only had 7 seasons where they finished below a 40% win percentage in a season. As a small-medium sized market team with really only a local fan base (as in they don’t have the national recognition or fan base of teams such as the Lakers, Celtics, etc) they can’t really afford to have too many seasons at the bottom otherwise they risk losing the fan base.

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      • I agree. The Pacers will make the playoffs next year in the East. They have a pretty decent Squad.

        You could see it in Oladipo when Westbrook sat, he was really a gamer in the mold of CJ McCollum in Portland when Lillard sits. Really wanted to be the man and take over the game.

        I think sabonis was better than I thought as a rookie. Good shooter, fairly tough… I’m surprised he didn’t get more minutes… maybe because he was young and still learning defense?

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  5. xabial

    Magic is a rookie President of basketball operations. The context of what he said on the Jimmy Kimmel show wasn’t enough to prove tampering but anything done behind closed doors is subject to investigation and I think Pacers are fishing hoping to exploit Magic’s inexperience.

    This just screams they’re dissatisfied with the PG13 package if they’re hoping to get compensated for having Magic found guilty of tampering. I don’t think they’ll succeed but good luck to them

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