A day after the Los Angeles Lakers shipped the guy they selected second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, D’Angelo Russell, center Timofey Mozgov and his massive contract to the Brooklyn Nets for center Brook Lopez, USA Today NBA Insider Sam Amick told The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday that he wouldn’t be surprised if the organization tried to pull off a blockbuster trade for Indiana Pacers star Paul George quickly.
Amick noted on the CBS Sports Radio show that George could be a part of the Lakers organization within the next 24 hours.
“I think it’s still hot. I think it still could happen before tomorrow,” Amick said of the Lakers trading for George. “The sense around the league is they’d love to wait, but they’re a little concerned about the idea of Paul going somewhere else and deciding that it’s a good fit and then falling out of love with the Lakers before he ever gets there. The question is at what price, and how desperate is Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers GM who recently took the top job after Larry Bird stepped away?”
Amick believes the Lakers would be willing to part with another one of their recent high lottery picks in Julius Randle, but not much more at this time.
“What I was hearing today is that the Lakers would love to get that deal done with no more than Julius Randle and the 27th pick,” Amick said. “I don’t know if that’s going to be enough for Kevin to pull the trigger, but there’s a lot of pressure in this situation for him because Paul’s value is diminishing by the day. He doesn’t have much leverage at this point. Everybody knows kind of what’s going on, how Paul feels. And I think it wouldn’t shock me to see that happen before tomorrow, because then the Lakers can start to get that whole thing rolling with Magic connecting with Paul, with Luke Walton, those guys, and they wouldn’t be a very good team this year, but they could start to get the other pieces in place for the future.”
The NBA Insider also weighed in on the ever changing dynamic on whether or not LeBron James would possibly leave Cleveland again, especially when he can become a free agent in the summer of 2018. Earlier this week, James tweeted his admiration for general manager David Griffin, after Griffin and team owner Dan Gilbert agreed to part ways on Monday.
Amick was asked if he thinks James would in fact leave again, like he did in 2010.
“It’s feeling more likely by the day,” Amick said. “And I’m surprised to be saying that this quickly. I didn’t even necessarily have this storyline on the radar even two weeks ago, but all these pieces are coming together, at least for now, in the way that feels like they’re pushing LeBron out of town. He’s checked the box of winning a championship. That gives him kind of the cover potentially if he’s going to leave.
“Now he’s got even more cover, because Dan Gilbert is decided to remember who he was before, and he’s Dan Gilbert again. He’s a dysfunctional owner. He’s doing things that don’t make sense.”
Amick said Gilbert’s logic of letting Griffin go seems off.
“Typically when your GM does a good job with the organization, with the roster, three straight Finals appearances for the Cavs, one championship, you give him an extension and the man gets kicked to the curb along with his colleague who’s also respected, Trent Redden their VP of Basketball Ops,” Amick said.
Amick said the Cavs are once again in a state of flux and can see James heading to Los Angeles in the future.
“It’s just chaos now and it’s kind of thing that if you’re LeBron, it’s just reminding you what concerned you the first time around and part of why you left the first time around,” Amick said. “The LA thing is very real as you know he’s got a house out there, he’s got a ton of business out there. He’s in Hollywood doing movies. I think eventually we will probably see him there.”