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Report: Pacers, Lakers discuss Paul George trade ahead of NBA draft Thursday

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 12: Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 12, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Paul George has told the Pacers he wants to leave the team next summer to join the Lakers, but he could head to L.A. much sooner.

The Pacers and Lakers are engaged in trade discussions for George, according to ESPN.

The report comes after previous trade discussions came to light on Monday.

In any potential trade of George, the Pacers will understandably want a substantial return in the form of young, talented prospects or draft picks or both. The Lakers, where George wants to wind up anyway, may not want to give much up now if they believe George will be theirs after one year anyway. However, they may bend to the Pacers’ desires if other offers for George come in from championship contending teams, which could potentially persuade George to stay there long term.

On Tuesday evening, Yahoo Sports reported the Lakers had indeed made a trade, but not for Paul George, sending center Timofey Mozgov and guard D’Angelo Russell to the Nets for the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and center Brook Lopez.

Though that potential trade necessitates the Pacers will not get Russell or Mozgov from the Lakers in any potential deal for George, it may signal the Lakers are moving to create a more attractive deal for Indiana’s star forward.