NBA investigating Lakers 4 purported tampering w PGeorge. Independent law firm handling interviews of Buss, Magic. https://t.co/MnaPpaFUJh
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) August 20, 2017
The Lakers say they did nothing wrong.
The All-Star forward, who was traded to the OKC Thunder, is widely believed to want to play in Hollywood.
“As the NBA’s statement made clear, we cannot comment about the specifics of any ongoing investigation,” the Lakers said in a statement. “We can confirm, however, that we are cooperating fully with the NBA in the hope of clearing our name as soon as possible.”
If the league office’s probe can prove the Lakers were guilty of tampering with George while he was under contract with Indiana, Los Angeles can be punished in several ways, including a loss of draft picks, financial fines up to $5 million, future restrictions on acquiring George and possible suspensions of offending officials.
The Pacers’ charges represent a growing concern among many NBA teams that some potential suitors are reaching out to players and agents with one or two years left on current deals, trying to manipulate opt-outs and trades, league sources said.
George informed the Pacers in June that he planned to opt out of his contract in 2018 and intended to sign a free-agent deal with the Lakers. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis on June 30. George has been public in his desire and interest to potentially play for his hometown Lakers.