Los Angeles Lakers: Team fined $500,000 for tampering with Paul George

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 13: Paul George (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 13: Paul George (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers finally received their punishment for tampering with Paul George. NBA officials pinpointed the fine at half a million dollars.

In what is the conclusion to an ongoing tampering investigation, the Los Angeles Lakers were finally given their punishment Thursday; a $500,000 fine. The investigation was filed by the Indiana Pacers and was conducted by an independent law firm.

Reports show that the tampering occurred when Lakers’ General Manager Rob Pelinka had direct contact with George’s agent while he was still under contract with the Pacers. This was following a warning from the league after Magic Johnson made a not so subtle hint towards wanting George on Live with Jimmy Kimmel. 

George informed the Indiana Pacers that he would not resign a deal after next season and had desired to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. This prompted the Pacers to trade George to Oklahoma City (for a not so great return).

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Per the NBA’s tampering rules, a team cannot contract or show desire in another player until he enters his free agency period on July 1. George, of course, will not be a free agent until next offseason, hence the punishment.

This all stems from the Lakers rumors that have been around George for months now. The Los Angeles native has shown reported interest in the organization and would be the perfect superstar to make them relevant again. For the most part, all of this speculation seemed like mere speculation; apparently is was much more than that.

However, at the end of the day, the Lakers received a favorable punishment. The fine could have as large as five million. Not only that, Los Angeles could have lost future draft picks as well as the ability to sign George at all. Without a first round draft pick next year, a harsher ruling could have destroyed the team’s future plans.

Next: The childish reason Paul George wasn't traded to LA

For the second richest organization in basketball, a $500,000 is not the end of the world. Although, the Pacers did win this battle of a big market team versus a small market team. How this affects the Los Angeles Lakers reputation and ability to bring in new talents is yet to be seen.