Pacers would’ve traded Paul George to Lakers if they got Brandon Ingram or No. 2 pick
At one point, Paul George to the Los Angeles Lakers seemed like a sure thing. The California native was unhappy in Indiana and he was set to be a free agent in the summer of 2018—conveniently when the Lakers would have cap space.
But instead of landing in Los Angeles, George was traded to the Thunder, he played one season in Oklahoma City, and ultimately decided to remain with Russell Westbrook and company.
Lakers fans aren’t sweating George’s decision because they reeled in the biggest fish of the summer—LeBron James. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers were open to the option of trading George to the Lakers. If the Lakers were willing to part with Brandon Ingram or the second overall pick (which eventually became Lonzo Ball), the Pacers may have dealt George out to the left coast.
It’s hard to imagine the NBA if one of those two scenarios happened. Victor Oladipo doesn’t end up in Indiana and he likely doesn’t have the breakout season he had last year. Who knows how George’s presence with the Lakers would affect LeBron James’ free agency decision. Not to mention, the young corps in Los Angeles would look and feel much different with Ball or Ingram.
The state of the NBA would be drastically different had Paul George got his wish to be traded to Los Angeles. It turns out, he likes Oklahoma City enough to stick around long-term, but it’s interesting to hear just how close he came to becoming a Laker.