While the Los Angeles Lakers want Paul George badly, they will not give up either Brandon Ingram or Lonzo Ball for the Indiana Pacers superstar. According to Mark Medina of the Orange County Register, the Lakers will instead wait for George to become a free agent after this season rather than trade either of their two young players.

Instead, the Lakers plan to pursue players from the free-agent market who will help accelerate the development of their young roster. The Lakers recently traded 2015 No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov and his huge deal to the Brooklyn Nets for center Brook Lopez and the No.

27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

With the trade, the Lakers finally unloaded the remaining three years and $54 million on Mozgov’s contract. The Lakers absorbed Lopez’s $22.6 million contract but it will come off the books in 2018. If Lopez’s contract goes off the books next season, the Lakers’ salary cap will increase to $30 million, giving them enough money to sign either George or LeBron James, in case he decides to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Lakers plan to limit multi-year deals this coming season

The new Lakers front office – composed of the president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and the general manager Rob Pelinka – said they will first target outside shooters and defensive specialists from the free-agent market who are willing to accept a short-term deal.

However, the Lakers want to minimize multi-year contracts. Instead, they will offer one-year deals that contain higher pay to compensate. After the 2017 Draft, Pelinka stressed that the team will be “very strategic to keep the cap space in 2018”. “We’ll be very sacred about that. We worked very hard to get into that position.

So we’ll be smart in free agency,” he said.

Lakers will have a new court general in Ball

With Russell gone, the Lakers now have a new playmaker in Ball, who was taken second overall. He played 36 games at UCLA last season, averaging 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 7.6 assists as he led the Bruins to a 31-5 record, a drastic improvement from their 15-17 mark the previous year.

The Lakers took Ingram as the second overall pick last season due to his length, size, agility, and athleticism. The former Duke star showed some #Bra last season, averaging 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in 79 games. Johnson expressed excitement about what the 6-foot-9 Ingram can bring to the table in the coming season.