Radio silence permeated the air for the Lakers on Wednesday, a stark contrast to the noise generated the previous day.
The Lakers enter Thursday’s NBA draft without clarity on whether they can acquire Indiana forward Paul George after having preliminary discussions as early as Tuesday morning. No signs of another Lakers trade emerged a day after the team acquired center Brook Lopez and the 27th pick from the Brooklyn Nets for veteran center Timofey Mozgov and third-year guard D’Angelo Russell.
Momentum toward a deal with Indiana reached a standstill Tuesday night, according to league sources, after the Pacers wanted more in return from a pair of Lakers’ trade proposals.
In one scenario, the Lakers would send fourth-year forward Julius Randle as well as their No. 27 and 28 draft picks to Indiana for George. The other option was fourth-year guard Jordan Clarkson along with both of those draft picks. So far, the Lakers have refused to include their No. 2 draft pick or second-year forward Brandon Ingram in any deal.
Sources sounded less certain on Wednesday the Pacers would deal George before Thursday’s draft, a significant change after sources contended on Tuesday night it was “highly likely” the Pacers would trade George somewhere.
Though George’s representatives informed the Pacers this week that he intends to become a free agent after his contract expires and then sign with the Lakers in the 2018 offseason, many in NBA circles believe Indiana still has leverage to entertaining trade proposals before and after the draft. Published reports indicate the Clippers, Houston, Cleveland and Washington also have engaged in trade proposals with Indiana regarding George.
On another front, ESPN reports the New York Knicks are considering trading 7-foot-3 Latvian talent Kristaps Porziņģis and have reached out to all of the teams with top-five picks.
Barring a last-minute trade, things appear fairly certain on what the Lakers will do with their No. 2 pick. The…