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Paul George trade rumors: Lakers offering Julius Randle, picks for Pacers star

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The Los Angeles Lakers are actively pursuing Indiana Pacers star Paul George, offering two first-round selections and forward Julius Randle, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein

Los Angeles has been active early in the NBA offseason, already trading away D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov for Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez. The move clears the way for the Purple and Gold to make a serious offer to George, who has already made it known that he wants to play for his hometown team. 

The Lakers are taking a gamble of sorts by offering substantial value in return for George, which Stein reports as the 27th and 28th picks, in addition to Randle. The proverbial roll of the dice is such that George could be traded to another suitor on a one-year deal and then find an amicable situation where he might re-sign long term, leaving the Lakers without its coveted marquee player.

The Pacers are in the unenviable position of seeking to trade George with less leverage than the team would otherwise have at the tail end of his contract. He signed a five-year $91.5M contract in 2014, and if he does not re-sign with the Pacers, he will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the 2019-20 season.

The Lakers could wait until that time to sign him at zero cost in terms of assets.

Despite that potential scenario, executives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are in aggressive pursuit of George.     

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.
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