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Magic Johnson Center Of NBA Investigation Into Paul George Tampering

Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson watches the Lakers take on the Boston Celtics during the 2017 Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boston won 86-81. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson watches the Lakers take on the Boston Celtics during the 2017 Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boston won 86-81. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Indian Pacers have accused the Los Angeles Lakers of violating the leagues tampering rules. The Pacers say the Lakers tampered with Paul George while he was still under contract with the team. The Lakers have denied the allegations and expect they will be cleared.

Magic Johnson, Lakers president of basketball operations, is at the center of this investigation. Paul George has expressed interest in signing with the team next summer and Johnson joked while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live about ways he could recruit the four-time All-Star.

The Lakers said in a statement that they are cooperating with the NBA, but cannot comment on the matter at this time. If the league does find sufficient evidence, the league could prohibit George from signing with the Lakers as a free agent or trading him to the team according to ESPN. The rule for talking to players is that team officials cannot contact players or their agents until after the free-agency opens on July 1.

The NBA has issued this statement regarding the investigation, “At the request of the Indiana Pacers, the NBA opened an investigation into alleged tampering by the Los Angeles Lakers.  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.”

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