Paul George has been the center of multiple Lakers rumors this season. This begs the question; how could the deal actually come to an agreement?
Lakers rumors have been a popular subject of conversation since the beginning of the franchise’s downwards spiral back in 2013. Fans have desperately awaited their next knight in shining armor, their next Kobe Bryant, to rescue them from the depths of the NBA bottom feeders.
The Lakers are hoping that their young core could develop enough to provide a deadly three-headed combo. If D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle all live up to what the Lakers expected then they will provide a homegrown big three. However, the Lakers expectations may have been too lofty, as the trio likely cannot fill the immense hole of Kobe.
Heading into the 2017 NBA Draft, where they have a good chance of securing a top three selection, this promise has grown even further. Proverbial wonder kid Lonzo Ball and his crazy father seem to be on a path heading straight for the Staples Center. Add that will the 28th overall selection, and the Lakers are looking primed heading into the draft.
Heck, even Blake Griffin rumors have been circling, stating that the powerhouse big man may be interested in remaining home, well, in purple and gold. With a player option to exercise at the end of this season, that option seems to be growing by the minute. However, there is one man that the Lakers should set their eyes on, and that man is Paul George.
Sure, this deal may be risky as Paul George only has one more season after the current one on his contract, but it is a deal that needs to be done. If Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson can pitch the idea of the Lakers to George he will undoubtedly look to sign an extension. The problem is, the Lakers need to sell him this idea sooner rather than later.
The Pacers are undoubtedly going to be asking a hefty fee for Paul George, and rightfully so. PG-13 is one of the most dynamic players in the league, and at only 26 the sky is the limit. He would fit near perfectly into this young unit that the Lakers created.
The only problem being, the Lakers are going to need to destroy some of this young unit in order to obtain Paul George. There are two routes the team can take, both leaving them in interesting positions.
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The first option is to deal the best of the trio, D’Angelo Russell. Russell has shown signs of greatness, but for the most part has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far. His locker room incident with Nick Young last season may have caused distrust in the Lakers locker room, despite what the team tells reporters. Sending D’Angelo, a future first round pick, and the Rockets first round pick would certainly be enough.
Then, the Lakers could select Lonzo Ball to run the point, transition Paul George back to shooting Gaurd, and allow Brandon Ingram free reign at small forward. They might not be great instantly, but this deal would fit nicely.
The other route the Lakers can take would be to deal the other two heads of this three-headed dragon, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram. Sending these two, along with a lottery protected future first-round pick, is a perfect trade off for both sides.
Then, a potential Lonzo Ball could join D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt, Paul George would man the three, and the Lakers could either start Larry Nance Jr. or a draft pick at power forward. With two more selections after Lonzo, adding a dynamic four behind Nance would be an easy task.
Overall, Paul George heading to Los Angeles at some point almost seems the most inevitable of the Lakers rumors. While the Lakers could sit around, twiddling their thumbs waiting for his contract to expire, they should jump the gun now and sell Paul George as the centerpiece of a new Lakers dynasty.