It was pretty apparent that the Lakers were working with the Pacers to agree on a trade to acquire Paul George before the 2017 NBA Draft. George has stated his intentions to be a Laker and many around the league feel he is still destined to end up there even after he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder to team up with reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook this off-season.
Many thought the Lakers and Pacers would work something out on draft night as the Lakers acquired another first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets in the days prior as part of the DeAngelo Russell and Brook Lopez trade and Timofey Mozgov’s salary dump.
According to Orange County Register Reporter Mark Medina, the offical offer made to the Pacers before the draft for Paul George was the No. 27 and No. 28 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and the Pacers choice of Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle.
Here is an excerpt from Medina’s story:
“First, the move that did not happen: in June, the Lakers offered Clarkson or fourth-year forward Julius Randle and their No. 27 and 28 picks to Indiana for Paul George. The Pacers declined before trading him to Oklahoma City for guard Victor Oladipo and center Domantas Sabonis.”
You can debate whether this offer is better than the Thunder trade that happened, Oladipo is probably a slightly better player than Randle and Clarkson, but he also makes about $9 million more per season than Clarkson and $17 million more than Randle who is currently still on his rookie contract.
I don’t blame the Pacers for turning down the Lakers offer for a multitude of reasons, the validation of it’s existence is definitely interesting though as some thought the Lakers wouldn’t give up any real assets if they were convinced he would come in free agency next summer anyway.