Alleged 'tampering' by Lakers under investigation


The NBA is investigating the Los Angeles Lakers for alleged tampering involving Paul George after the Indiana Pacers filed a formal complaint.

The league released a statement Sunday from Mike Bass, executive vice president of communications.

"At the request of the Indiana Pacers, the NBA opened an investigation into alleged tampering by the Los Angeles Lakers," the NBA statement said.

"The independent investigation is being conducted by the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. The Lakers have been cooperative and, at this point, no findings have been made. We have asked both teams to refrain from commenting while the investigation is ongoing."

Peter Vecsey on Patreon reported Saturday that Lakers president Magic Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss were contacted by an investigator for the NBA and asked to provide "any correspondence pertaining to" George, his agent and his parents.

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"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."

The Pacers declined to comment when contacted by The Indianapolis Star on Sunday.

George's agent contacted the Pacers on June 18 and informed the team that George would not return after his contract expired following the 2017-18 season and that his preference was to play for his hometown Lakers.

When contacted in June, a source told The Indianapolis Star the Pacers were more concerned about finding a trade for George. The Pacers dealt the All-Star forward to the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 30 in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and forward Domantas Sabonis.

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Major moves from the 2017 NBA offseason
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Major moves from the 2017 NBA offseason

Avery Bradley: Traded to Detroit Pistons

(Photo by Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Marcus Morris: Traded to Boston Celtics

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Tim Hardaway Jr.: Signed with New York Knicks

(Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Vince Carter: Signed with Sacramento Kings

(Photo by Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Gordon Hayward: Signed with Boston Celtics

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Paul George: Traded to Oklahoma City Thunder

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Rudy Gay: Signed with San Antonio Spurs

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Kelly Olynyk: Signed with Miami Heat

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Nick Young: Signed with Golden State Warriors

(Photo by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Chris Bosh: Waived by Miami Heat

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Paul Millsap: Traded to Denver Nuggets

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Zach Randolph: Signed with Sacramento Kings

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

J.J. Redick: Signed with Philadelphia 76ers

(Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Ricky Rubio: Traded to Utah Jazz

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Chris Paul: Traded to Houston Rockets

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Jimmy Butler: Traded to Minnesota Timberwolves

(Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard: Traded to Charlotte Hornets

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

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George, who is from Palmdale, Calif., previously mentioned his admiration of Lakers legends Johnson and Kobe Bryant.

Within an hour of an initial report about George's intentions to leave the Pacers, Johnson tweeted "God is good!" Johnson also acknowledged in a late-night TV interview in April that he would welcome George as a Laker.

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