At one point last season, Paul George heading to sunny Los Angeles this past offseason was almost a guaranteed deal. PG was unhappy with his situation in Indiana, and informed the Pacers' front office he'd be testing free agency in 2018 and most likely would be signing with the Lakers. Indy promptly traded him to OKC to get something in return for the All-Star, where we assumed that PG would play out his contract and head to LA.
Or so we thought.
Paul George was the first big shock of 2018's free agency period, when he announced mere minutes after FA began that he'd be returning to OKC, staying put alongside Russell Westbrook. for the foreseeable future.
Laker fans were furious at being passed up by PG13 so early into free agency, but that rage was quickly taken over with excitement when LeBron James signed on with Los Angeles a week or so later.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski however, there was a way LA could've landed both superstars, if they were willing to give up the right pieces.
Woj says that the Pacers would've traded PG straight to the Lakers if LA offered up Brandon Ingram or the 2nd pick in the 2017 NBA draft, which ended up being Lonzo Ball.
Looking back, who knows what would've happened if the Lakers decided to pull the trigger on this deal. The only reason they didn't is because they were almost certain they'd land George in free agency 12 months later, and didn't want to give up young pieces for no reason.
If they did make the deal, would LeBron even head over to LA to join him? Lonzo Ball seemed to be a pretty big reason why King James chose the Lakers as his destination.
And what about Victor Oladipo? Would he flourish into the All-Star talent he is today if he was still stuck in OKC next to Russell Westbrook? Who knows.