Report: Lakers willing to make big splash to add superstar to roster

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The Los Angeles Lakers have been down and out over the past several years, collecting top-tier draft prospects but not even coming close to the postseason. 

They've done a great job of cashing in those top picks for lottery talents like Brandon Ingram, D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. They've also done a good job of their deep picks like Larry Nance, Jr., Ivica Zubac and Jordan Clarkson. 

That's a corral of youth that most teams would be happy building with, and they could still add a top-three pick to the core should the NBA Draft lottery bounce their way once again. Still, the front office may not be willing to wait for the youth to develop much longer. 

Magic Johnson has made it clear he plans to turn the Lakers around as quickly as possible now that he's taken on the role of president of basketball operations, and it's sounding more and more like he and general manager Rob Pelinka may be ready to make a big move.

The Lakers are expected to "dangle prospects" for Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George this offseason, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Several reports indicated that the Lakers were engaged in George discussions at the trade deadline, but nothing came of it then. 

Indiana has begun moving in a new direction after being swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. Larry Bird stepped down as president, and it could be time for Indiana to seriously consider its future with PG13.

George, a California native, is the latest soon-to-be free agent star to have his name heavily tied to the Lakers. He can opt out of his contract with the Pacers in 2018, leaving Indiana just one year to make a very important decision for the franchise. 

Los Angeles could be willing to put together a very enticing package with its mix of young lottery talents. The Lakers could conceivably mix and match, giving the Pacers a few of the pieces they want while still being able to retain some of their talent.

Other teams that have been collecting assets, like the Boston Celtics, could turn negotiations into a bidding war. The Lakers may be the talked-about favorite to make a strong push, but they certainly won't be the only team the Pacers open the conversation to. 

The flip side is the Lakers could simply wait until 2018 to outright sign George, keeping all of their young talent in their cupboard. That would make LA a more desirable and competitive team, as opposed to gutting the roster to secure Paul one year earlier. 

The Pacers are between a rock and a hard place and the Lakers seem like the team most eager to offer them a solution. It's going to be an interesting summer once free agency and trade rumors really heat up. 

Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Shaquille O'Neal
Paul George
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Kobe Bryant
D'Angelo Russell

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