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Last summer, Paul George informed the Indiana Pacers that he planned on leaving the franchise during the 2018 free agency period to sign with his hometown team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pacers and Lakers engaged in trade talks, but a deal never transpired and Indiana ended up sending George to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The feeling in Los Angeles was that George was going to sign with the Lakers in 2018 anyway, so why give up assets to acquire him. Turns out, that logic didn’t work in the Lakers’ favor.
George re-signed with the Thunder on a four-year deal this summer. Oklahoma City did a great job of selling George on a future there and the All-Star small forward liked playing with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams and for coach Billy Donovan.
The Lakers, though, had a chance to get George if they had given up Brandon Ingram or the 2017 No. 2 overall pick, which Los Angeles ended up using on Lonzo Ball.
“The Pacers would’ve done a deal to trade Paul George to the Lakers if they got the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft or Brandon Ingram,” ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Woj Pod.
The Lakers can’t be too upset. They signed the best player in the world this summer in LeBron James and have Ingram, Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart as a young core to surround him with.
Still, it would have been fun to watch James and George play together in Los Angeles.