Paul George is already out of the NBA playoffs picture but the Indiana Pacers main man, or soon-to-be former main man rather, is generating plenty of buzz in the league.
He caught everyone’s attention when after the Pacers were swept by reigning champs Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, he said that his long-term plans do not include Indiana anymore.
So what team he is said to be keen to play with? The Los Angeles Lakers it is.
Yes chaps, Paul want to head to Tinseltown via trade and Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson may be getting the biggest catch in his bid to add star power to his squad that struggled this season.
This summer, barring any hitches, George could be donning the Lakers jersey.
But who will LA give up in exchange for the high-scoring small forward? That is the dilemma Johnson is facing right now.
As he craves for a star player leading the charge, Johnson also wants to acquire UCLA Bruins star Lonzo Ball who like George had earlier showed huge interest in seeing action for the Lakers.
A partnership featuring George and the prolific 6-foot-6 point guard Ball could be lethal but that remains up in the air.
Well, we bet we all more or less know what George can bring to the table, but Ball?
He won’t be in the centre of talks, too, for nothing.
Trumpeted by his father LaVar as better than Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Lonzo Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.0 rebounds for the season.
He was the only player in the nation to average at least 14 points, six assists, and six rebounds, and was the first player in the conference since Jason Kidd in 1993–94 to average at least 14 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.
Whew! He is also a multi-awarded player, among them the Wayman Tisdale Award as top freshman in the nation, aside from getting honours from the Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), NBA Coaches and Sporting News.
He was also voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was named first-team All-Pac-12 together with teammates Leaf and Bryce Alford.
Magic’s dream scenario could be sealed if the Lakers get at least the second pick in the NBA Draft Lottery.
Another option is if they trade all of their incumbent young dribblers to Indiana for George.
More likely, this is the setting envisioned than Johnson shipping the No. 1, 2 or 3 pick overall straight-up in exchange for George.
Before Magic was hired at Lakers, the team stressed that they won’t trade any of their young core of players, among them D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle.
However, those three players could be a major haul for Bird should they be traded.
In the event George and Ball eventually land at LA and emerge their new main men, could their addition solve the positive turnaround-for-the-better shakeup the team is looking for?
Could they be the new faces of the franchise which Johnson himself once led to fame and glory?
Your guess is as good as ours.