The Lakers have all the leverage in the world over the Pacers now that Paul George has informed them . His preferred destination is Los Angeles and with that being made obvious it’s really stripped Indiana of their flexibility. They can try to dump George off to a potential contenders as a one-year (or half-season) rental, or try to coerce the Lakers into a decent return, but as of this moment Indiana is in a bad spot for a trade.
Thanks to Los Angeles advantage, it can afford to pick and choose who is available in a trade to the Pacers. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, none of L.A.’s current assets are on the table.
Although George would constitute a significant acquisition for Los Angeles, the rebuilding Lakers do not currently intend to part with any of their young assets in a trade with the Pacers, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The Lakers roster is currently stacked with young players and they hold the number two overall pick in the draft. Typically a talent like George would be worth a decent return, but after Sunday’s bombshell report, things have changed. Indiana would be lucky to get even one of those young assets from Los Angeles.
The Lakers are smart to not give up anything of value for a player that they can just wait on in 2018. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t attempt a trade for George, but there’s no need to give up their draft pick or a highly-touted prospect in those discussions. We’ll see how this plays out.