With the 2017 NBA Draft lottery on May 16, the Los Angeles Lakers will learn if they will keep their top-three protected pick. In their first offseason together, President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka could add another top prospect to their young core or package the lottery pick in a potential trade.
Since the trade deadline, Paul George has been consistently linked with his hometown team as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2017-18 NBA season. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the four-time All-Star addressed the reports and shared he will also be working out with Kobe Bryant this offseason:
All reports over the last couple of months have indicated George would like to play for the Lakers. While waiting to sign George in free agency is ideal, the Indiana Pacers could trade him to a championship contender prior to next year’s trade deadline where it could complicate the situation.
After rebuilding through the draft and hiring head coach Luke Walton, there is great optimism for the storied franchise. While there were expectations Johnson would be looking to speed up the rebuilding process, he recently shared he is actually looking to save cap space for 2018 free agency, which features George and Russell Westbrook (player option).
George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in his seventh season.