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Report: Paul George trade chatter convinces Lakers to blink

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But, they still aren’t willing to make Ingram or the No. 2 pick available.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that the Pacers have engaged in enough Paul George trade chatter to convince the Lakers to blink first, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne.

According to the pair, the No. 2 pick as well as Brandon Ingram remain off the table.

The sudden change of heart likely comes by way of apprehension that the two-way star could lose interest if a more competitive team manages to woo him along with his Bird Rights before he hits free agency.

Stein reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers have all registered their interest with the Pacers.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News suggested that the Clippers could try to finagle a multi-team trade to “accommodate” either J.J. Redick or Blake Griffin while ESPN’s Zach Lowe posited that the Rockets could try offering Eric Gordon and two first round picks. Meanwhile, negotiating a workable deal with the Wizards would necessitate Otto Porter, who is a restricted free agent, actually wanting to play for the Pacers. Kevin Love looms as an asset to reroute to a third team, but Jimmy Butler could put the kibosh on that option if he pushes Chicago’s front office to trade his more secure contract to Cleveland. (Update: Butler has “no interest” in joining the Cleveland Cavaliers, per TNT’s David Aldrdige.)

All of which means that, unless Redick or Griffin want to play for a star-hungry team with young assets or a contender with a treasure trove of picks (i.e. Boston Celtics), LA’s presumably low-ball offer is more likely to align with Myles Turner’s window, as of now. That, of course, could change if the Cavs decide that they need Paul George to prevent LeBron’s eyes from wondering West.