According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have turned their attention back to the Indiana Pacers and Paul George with an extra first-round pick at their disposal.
The Pacers, according to multiple reports, have been looking to land two first round picks and a starter-quality player. With that Brooklyn trade behind them, the Lakers now have picks 2, 27 and 28 to offer, as well as someone like Jordan Clarkson who is probably a borderline starter, but a starter nonetheless.
If the Pacers instead want Julius Randle (who is probably undoubtedly a starter at this point), the Lakers could go in that direction, but would probably keep one of those picks as Randle still holds some pretty noteworthy value.
Here’s how Stein puts it, via a tweet.
Can the Lakers now land Paul George by offering Thursday's No. 27 and 28 picks and either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson? They're trying.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 20, 2017
As initially disappointing as that Russell trade might be (and it was certainly a Draymond-shot to the family jewels), if this could help net Paul George and enough cap space to land a second star, it’s hard to say it won’t be worth it.
If this all doesn’t play out like that, though, the Lakers are right back to where they started only a couple long years ago.