Report: Lakers unlikely to trade for Paul George, confident they can sign him in 2018

The Lakers securing the No. 2 pick in this year's NBA Draft opened up all sorts of possibilities. One that came to mind immediately for anyone who follows the NBA closely is the idea of the Lakers trading for Pacers All-Star Paul George.

George has reportedly talked about wanting to play in Los Angeles, and the Lakers have plenty of assets to pull off a deal. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, however, the Lakers are unlikely to trade for George because of one important reason: They think they can get him as a free agent in 2018.

More from Wojnarowski:

"[The Lakers] are pretty confident and have a great deal of belief that they're in position to get Paul George in 2018 whether he stays in Indiana or is traded elsewhere. ...

"They don't have to give assets up to go and try to trade for him. In fact, I think they've been encouraged to do just the opposite. If Paul George is gonna go there he wants them to have assets, he wants them to be as good of a team as they can when he walks in."

The logic makes sense. The Lakers aren't going to win a title any time soon with or without George, so why mortgage the future by trading away assets when you'll be able to sign George just a year later?

Also the terminology used by Wojnarowski, "they've been encouraged," suggests that George's camp might be in communication with the Lakers front office, assuring them of George's interest in signing with the team.

It's no secret that the Lakers are eyeing Lonzo Ball, who many believe could be a franchise-changing point guard, with that No. 2 pick. That's not an asset most would be willing to part with, even for a player of George's caliber. So a trade doesn't seem to make sense for either side at this point.

If the Lakers do take themselves out of the George trade market, it will be interesting to see if any other teams go after him, knowing full well that he could leave them next summer for L.A.

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