Lakers Rumors Roundup: Magic Johnson Wants Paul George, Deng May Not Be Back With Team & More

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a crucial offseason for the franchise. It's Magic Johnson's first offseason in charge, and after four seasons without a playoff berth, the pressure in on the Lakers to start turning things around immediately. Here is all the latest Lakers news & rumors you need to know:

Magic Johnson wants Paul George
It's not exactly a secret that Paul George has a strong interest in joining the Lakers, and plans to decline his player option following next season to become a free agent. Indiana already flirted with the possibility of dealing George at the trade deadline, and will likely do so again this offseason.

Will the Lakers try to pursue a trade for him this summer? Magic Johnson made a not-so-subtle hint on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

George averaged 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this past season.

Luol Deng expecting changes, may not be back with team
The Lakers signed Luol Deng to a four-year, $72 million this past offseason, but he sparsely contributed this season. According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Deng knows the franchise is going to make changes this offseason - one of which may be him leaving town.

“I believe there will be a lot of changes,” Deng said. “When changes happen, if I’m one of the changes that happen early, clearly I can’t see myself with any input on how I would fit in. But if I’m one of the late guys to be moved, I can always look at the team and have a discussion if we both agree we fit in better.”

Deng averaged a career-low 7.6 points per game on a career-low 38.7 percent shooting.

Lakers looking to make trades this offseason
Los Angeles would love for the acquisition of Paul George to be one of those changes this offseason, but the front office is hoping that that would be one of many deals they make this summer, according to Hannah Kulik of Lakers Nation:

In plain English, Johnson and Pelinka are salivating to make a deal. They have made it perfectly clear that they, and team owner Jeanne Buss, do not have the patience to let nature take its course over the next few years to see how the current young players mature. They have telegraphed to anyone who will listen that their intent is to reshape the roster this summer and bring in stars – superstars to be precise – and anyone who thinks any current Laker player is untouchable is sadly mistaken.

The question is, while the team is ready to deal, will they find a willing partner?

...That said, Johnson and Pelinka are confident and they intend to acquire a superstar this summer and seem willing to go all out to make it happen. Hopefully they will succeed without sacrificing their best young talent, but wanting it to happen and making it happen are two different things. Johnson and Pelinka are formidable, but given the obstacles, Johnson really will be the Magic Man if he can pull it off.

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