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Report: Multi-team trade involving Paul George, Kevin Love isn’t happening

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Magic Johnson’s winks may go unchallenged.

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Attempting to reroute Kevin Love to a third team isn’t going to net the Pacers the type of young assets they reportedly covet, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

This is doubly bad for Indiana because it also means that the team’s brass isn’t going to be able to leverage the Lakers with the threat of George being wooed by Cleveland’s contender-status during his one-season layover.

Meanwhile, Love’s presumed inability to draw greater value than LA’s low-ball offer of either Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle and the No. 27 and No. 28 picks in this year’s draft lends some credence to the notion that the market for stars may end up being artificially lowered due to the concept of Warriors inevitably.

If Cleveland is indeed out of the running, then the Rockets, Wizards, and Clippers have been said to have registered their interest in acquiring Indiana’s two-way star. However, each of those fringe contenders presents a unique challenge to arriving at a workable deal.

Houston’s future draft picks are likely to be middling and the players Daryl Morey has reportedly made availableRyan Anderson, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley —aren’t on the upswing. Acquiring Otto Porter would probably be enticing, if not for the fact that he’s a restricted free agent and would have to want to sign on for Indiana’s rebuild to facilitate a trade. Likewise, shipping the four-time All-Star to the other team in Los Angeles would require accommodating the free agent preferences of either J.J. Redick or Blake Griffin.

All of which seems to indicate that the Lakers will only be bidding against themselves in the immediate unless a star-hungry team gets brave enough to belly up to the bargaining table without long-term assurances from George.