LA Lakers News: Why Paul George Should Be Team's Next Target

Ryan DavenportContributor IJuly 17, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JUNE 01:  Paul George #24 of the Indiana Pacers looks on against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on June 1, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the aftermath of Dwight Howard's departure for Houston, Los Angeles Lakers fans have to be looking for reasons to believe that the future will be better than the disaster that was the 2012-13 season.  

And now they may have one. 

That's because, at least according to Scott Agnes of NBA.com's Indiana Pacers blog, Paul George would be more than open to the idea of heading to Hollywood if Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were to come calling: 

George said that him hypothetically joining the Lakers would certainly be a “family-favorite team.”

“Of course it would be tough (to say no to Kobe). You're talking about playing [at] home.” (George is from Palmdale, California.)

While George is apparently happy with the Pacers and is loyal enough to commit to the team for the time being, he would be inclined to listen to the Lakers, especially if it were Bryant doing the recruiting. 

Now that this is out in the open, the Lakers have to be licking their chops over the prospect of adding George after the 2013-14 season. 

George is among the most promising young players in the game, and he's only going to get better from here, as he's just coming off his second full season as a starter. 

Last season, the Fresno State product broke out with 17.4 points per game, and more importantly, he was the centerpiece of the Pacers' postseason run that took them to within one win of making the NBA Finals. 

So if the Lakers were presented with the opportunity to acquire a player to build around, isn't George about as ideal an opportunity as they come?

He upped his average to 19.2 points per game during the playoffs and demonstrated an ability to rise to the occasion in big moments. That certainly doesn't sound like a bad fit for Los Angeles.

Ultimately, in the eyes of a player like George, one of the attractions of playing for the Lakers has to be playing alongside Bryant and helping him orchestrate at least one more deep playoff run. 

Obviously, the Pacers aren't likely to let their best player go for nothing next summer, but if George makes it known that he's not crazy about the idea of remaining in Indiana for the long haul, the Lakers should be the first team calling to piece together a sign-and-trade or sign the 2014 restricted free agent outright (Indiana would have ability to match any offer, however).

This could be a sign of things to come, or simply a pipe dream, but either way, Pacers fans should be at least a little concerned about George's desire to become a Laker someday. 


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