Published: Mon, August 21, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

NBA Investigating Lakers for Tampering With Paul George, at Pacers' Request

NBA Investigating Lakers for Tampering With Paul George, at Pacers' Request

According to Adrian Wojnarowski with ESPN, the Pacers filed tampering charges on speculation that there was impermissible contact between Magic Johnson and George.

There is no known timetable for the completion of the investigation being conducted by the NY law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

The Pacers are opening up the investigation after months of rumors and reports that George was forcing his way to his hometown to play for the Lakers. The independent investigation is being conducted by the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. It was not certain whether the Lakers would look to make a trade for the four-time All-Star, or if they would wait for him to become available in free agency the following off-season in order to make their own contract offer for him. We have asked both teams to refrain from commenting all the investigation is ongoing.

George has often spoken of his friendship with Johnson and, shortly after his intention to leave the Pacers was announced, Johnson tweeted: "God is so good!"

It was unclear how the tampering happened but Johnson winked at Jimmy Kimmel when asked about George during an interview in April.

George is a Southern California native, but he has been tied to the Lakers throughout much of this offseason through more than just geography. "I had to go to CBA school, salary cap school and tampering school", he said with a laugh. George was later traded to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

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.

If the firm is able to find sufficient evidence that Johnson contacted George about potentially joining the Lakers when he fit free agency during his time in IN, it could mean league sanctions not only against Los Angeles but for Johnson as well.

Per ESPN, the Lakers are denying the tampering allegations and expect to be cleared following the NBA's investigation.

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