Among the many reports swirling around today's NBA Trade Deadline, the one getting the most attention is the Lakers' interest in Paul George. In fact, it's the top headline on this morning's ESPN.com homepage.
When actually reading Ramona Shelburne's report, though, you'll see that this was nothing more than a brief conversation to gauge interest - something that happens constantly in NBA circles. As Bill Simmons points out, it's hard for the conversation between Magic and Bird to get serious because the Lakers don't even know if they'll have their First Round pick this June:
Hate to be a party pooper but the Lakers can't trade for PG-13 until after the lottery - they don't know if they have their 2017 pick yet.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 23, 2017
Los Angeles owes its first-rounder to Philadelphia this year, as long as it doesn't fall into the top three picks. The Lakers currently have the third-worst record in the NBA, so they have about a 46.9% chance of getting into one of those top three draft slots, and keeping their selection. If you're Larry Bird, you'd want at least a Lottery-level #1 and an established young starter (the Lakers have a few of those), if not even more picks/players, in exchange for PG.
These talks could be re-ignited this summer, or even next February, but given their uncertainty about the Lakers' draft pick, it seems extremely unlikely that the Lakers-Pacers would strike a deal before today's 3 PM deadline.