Paul George Trade Reportedly Discussed by Lakers, Pacers Ahead of 2017 NBA Draft

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2017

Indiana Pacers' Paul George in action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Indiana defeated Atlanta 104-86. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have had discussions with the Indiana Pacers about trading for Paul George, ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported Tuesday.        

The news comes as teams are gearing up for the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that George told the Pacers he won't re-sign with the franchise at the end of the 2017-18 season and wants to play for the Lakers.

Interest in George is high across the league, with Stein including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards among the teams that have contacted the Pacers.

According to Stein and Shelburne, the Lakers are reluctant to part with either the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft or last year's No. 2 pick, Brandon Ingram, leaving the two teams at an impasse.

Later on Tuesday, L.A. would trade D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. This led to the following report from ESPN's Marc Stein: 

George's declaration—while providing clarity about his future—erased a lot of leverage Indiana might have otherwise had.

The longer the Pacers wait to trade George, the less they'll likely get in return, similar to the Sacramento Kings' trade of DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the Feb. 23 trade deadline. From Indiana's perspective, Randle as the centerpiece of the deal may not be all that attractive, but the 2014 No. 7 overall pick could be the best the Pacers can get.