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NBA 2017 Trade Rumors: LA Lakers Torn Between Rebuilding and Paul George Acquisition as Ricky Rubio Headed to NY Knicks

( [email protected] ) May 25, 2017 08:28 AM EDT
The Los Angeles Lakers will want to return to championship form by 2017-18 Season of the NBA and so is the New York Knicks. For the Lakers, the question is to build gradually or get somebody with the star-power and caliber of a Kobe Bryant. The Knicks, on the other hand, is on the hunt for a point guard talent, preferably a tried and tested acquisition.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (No. 13) shoots a jump shot during a game. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

The Los Angeles Lakers will want to return to championship form by 2017-18 Season of the NBA and so is the New York Knicks. For the Lakers, the question is to build gradually or get somebody with the star-power and caliber of a Kobe Bryant. The Knicks, on the other hand, is on the hunt for a point guard talent, preferably a tried and tested acquisition.

Working on a maximum salary cap of $19 million and the desire to play the NBA 2018 Finals, Knicks team president Phil Jackson has set out to get star college recruits, with the likes of De'Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith, Jr. as solid candidates, or raid the rich roster of rival teams. For the latter, Jackson is said to be eyeing Ricky Rubio, hoping that the court director for the Minnesota Timberwolves can be convinced to jump ship.

Rumors of Rubio joining the Knicks roster is nothing new, according to NJ.com. Early this year, Rubio was reported to have been courted by the Knicks management, impressed by Rubio's playmaking and potent defensive skills - two things that could fire up the NY crew the moment they step inside the Madison Square Garden. And the added benefit of electrifying the New York crowd is certainly welcome.

Of note too is the Timberwolves passing expertise that for sure Jackson would want to integrate with his triangle offense. Nothing is written in stone at the moment if Rubio would switch jersey offseason but there are reports that if the NY-Minnesota deal hit the skids, also in consideration is Derrick Rose, who reports said is raring for a Knicks comeback.

Now returning to the Indiana Pacers next season is said to be not in the mind of Paul George at all, Bleacher Report said. It is known that the LA Lakers are on the rebuilding path as set by Magic Johnson and the disillusioned George will want to join in, notwithstanding that the Pacers still enjoy one year of playtime from the shooting guard.

Speculations are rife the four-time NBA All-Star will demand a trade and has set his eyes to going West, specifically to California, George's home state. Coming home will also mean George will increase his chance of improving his legacy by way of winning an NBA ring with the glam Lakers.

The setting is in effect for a George exit from Indiana and the foremost indicator was the Pacers' sorry performance during the playoffs. The player's morale is id down and change of environment will likely provide the much needed boost, say a trip and long stay to Los Angeles.

But how exactly will George move from Indiana to LA. The Bleacher report said Johnson could wait out for George to become free-agent and allow destiny to take its course or take full control of the situation. Going for the latter will mean the Lakers will have to let go of prized assets and send them to Indiana.

And "them" means D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle filling the void that will be created by Paul George's departure from the Pacers. The same option will mean Johnson has to abandon the plan to rebuild the Lakers around Russell. The dilemma by Johnson was best described by Bleacher Report: Will it be instant gratification with Paul George or the team rebuilding with Russell in mind?

 

 

Tags : NBA 2017 trade rumors, New York Knicks, Ricky Rubio, Phil Jackson, Derrick Rose, Los Angeles Lakers, Paul George, LA Lakers Rebuilding, D'Angelo Russell, Magic Johnson