• ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Pacers and Lakers have begun trade talks concerning Paul George.

    George has made his position clear to the Pacers front office, he will not be returning after his contract expires after the next season. Separately, he has made it clear that the Lakers are his No. 1 destination. The Lakers first position on the situation was that they’d wait for him to hit free agency, sign him outright and not lose any assets; but recent events may have the Lakers expedite the process. The arms race between the Cavs and Warriors created a market for the Cavs to be interested in George even if it was a ‘rental’ situation. The trade market for George is very debatable because besides the Cavs no other team thought it would be worth the assets to give up for one season of George if he really has his heart set on Los Angeles. So what will the Lakers pay to avoid LeBron and co. tempting George with the possibilities of a championship which aren’t in the Lakers immediate future? The Lakers should be reminded of the Carmelo Anthony story of gutting your team to get the star that is rumored to come during free agency.

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