Lakers fined $500,000 for violating league's anti-tampering rules regarding Paul George

Paul George was traded to the Thunder during the opening of free agency. (AP)

The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules, the league announced Thursday.

The conduct at issue involved Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka communicating with Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George’s agent, expressing prohibited interest in George while he remains under contract, the NBA announced. The penalty followed a warning given to the Lakers because of comments president of basketball operations Magic Johnson made about George on national television April 20.

The NBA added that the investigation did not reveal an agreement or understanding that the Lakers would acquire George.

The Lakers were involved in trade discussions with the Indiana Pacers regarding George in June, but Indiana eventually moved George to the Thunder before the opening of free agency. George has one season remaining on his contract.

The NBA’s fine follows an independent investigation by the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

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