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:
Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine
Can the Lakers now land Paul George by offering Thursday's No. 27 and 28 picks and either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson? They're trying.2017-6-20 22:43:17
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.