AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAdam Streisand, who serves as the team’s outside counsel with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, added in the Lakers’ statement that “the Lakers organization is pleased that this thorough investigation has been brought to a close — and we can assure the fans that the Lakers will be hyper-vigilant going forward to make sure this is never an issue again.”George’s representatives had informed the Indiana Pacers this summer of the Palmdale native’s plans to join the Lakers in the 2018 offseason after opting out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent. Shortly after, the Pacers traded the four-time All-Star to the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Victor Oladipo and young center Domantas Sabonis.Since then, the Lakers have held out hope they can accelerate the growth in their young roster well enough to entice stars such as George, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook to join the Lakers next season.Meanwhile, the Lakers also prioritized maximizing cap space, both by trading center Timofey Mozgov (three years, $48 million) to Brooklyn and by signing free agent guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tyler Ennis to one-year deals. Still, George has a full season in Oklahoma City with Westbrook, a pairing that could provide some relative threat to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.Though the Lakers’ interest in George is well known, the NBA prohibits teams from publicly expressing interest in a player already under contract as well as sharing their sentiments with that player and/or his representatives. The NBA fined the Lakers $500,000 for tampering involving forward Paul George, in what the league said was the largest fine in its history for such a punishment. The NBA alleged in a statement that General Manager Rob Pelinka spoke with George’s agent, Aaron Mintz, and offered “a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract.”The league added the penalty stemmed from its previous warning to the Lakers after president of basketball operations Magic Johnson admitted interest in George during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on April 20. The law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz led the independent investigation.Despite the punishment, the NBA said the investigation “did not reveal evidence of an agreement or understanding that the Lakers would sign or acquire George.” Had that happened, the Lakers could have suffered more severe penalties, including the loss of draft picks and the inability to acquire George when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the 2018 offseason.“We respect and accept the NBA’s decision regarding this matter,” Pelinka said in a statement released by the Lakers. “On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Mintz also represents Lakers forward Julius Randle and guard D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers traded as part of their deal with Brooklyn.