While the Pacers must believe the Lakers were influencing George's trade request behind-the-scenes, there needs to be concrete evidence and it will be interesting to see if anything emerges from the investigation.
George's agent contacted the Pacers on June 18 and informed the team that George would not return after his contract expired following the 2017-18 season and that his preference was to play for his hometown Lakers.
Did Magic Johnson and the Lakers commit tampering in their pursuit of Paul George?
George is a Southern California native, but he has been tied to the Lakers throughout much of this offseason through more than just geography.
Speculation about tampering by Johnson goes back to April when he made an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and discussed speaking with George while on vacation.
George, who grew up in Palmdale, informed the Pacers in June that he planned to opt out of his contract in 2018 and meant to sign a free-agent deal with the Lakers.
As the National Basketball Association states, there have been no decisions made upon the findings at this point.
ESPNreports that Lakers' president MagicJohnson is at the center of that investigation. "We have asked both teams to refrain from commenting all the investigation is ongoing". Punishment can include fines, suspensions, forfeiture of draft picks and transfers of draft picks from the tampering team to the victimized team.
George's agent, Aaron Mintz, informed the Pacers in mid-June that his client did not intend to return to in when he became a free agent in 2018, also communicating that George's preference would be to go to the Lakers.
Tampering is when a player or team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anybody (player, general manager, etc.) who is under contract with another team in order to negotiate for their services.
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