Magic Johnson at center of National Basketball Association probe into Paul George tampering

Paul George Oklahoma City Thunder

The Indiana Pacers have filed tampering charges to the National Basketball Association on the Lakers for potential "impermissible contact" between Magic Johnson and former Pacers star Paul George.

The NBA said the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is conducting the investigation. We have asked both teams to refrain from commenting while the investigation is ongoing.

If the league office's probe can prove the Lakers were guilty of tampering with George while under contract with Indiana, Los Angeles can be punished in several ways, including a loss of draft picks, financial fines up to $5 million, future restrictions on acquiring George and possible suspensions of offending officials.

George is a Southern California native, but he has been tied to the Lakers throughout much of this offseason through more than just geography.

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The allegations were not explicitly stated by the league, but the request pertains to the situation involving former Pacers star Paul George, who was traded to Oklahoma City this summer after requesting a trade.

George was sent to Oklahoma City in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in June as free agency began.

Speculation about tampering by Johnson goes back to April when he made an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and discussed speaking with George while on vacation.

Tampering, according to Article 35 of the NBA's Constitution and Bylaws, occurs when a team or its representative attempts to persuade a player, coach, trainer, general manager or any other person who is under contract with another team to join the tampering team. George has been public in his desire and interest to potentially play for his hometown Lakers. The investigation follows charges being formally filed by the Indiana Pacers. Rumors have been swirling for months about whether George would stay in IN, a new city, or if he would bolt for his hometown in LA after the upcoming season comes to a close.

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