Indiana had Irving on its board as the No. 1 target for George, league sources said.

The Pacers had a willingness to do a deal straight up, but Cleveland declined several times, league sources said.

There was another deal that would have sent Kevin Love to the Nuggets, Gary Harris to the Pacers, and George to the Cavs, but it ultimately fell apart because Cleveland didn’t want to send Indiana an unprotected draft pick, according to Woj.

After the three-team deal fell apart, the Pacers ultimately moved on and dealt George to the Thunder. A few weeks later, Irving made his demand for a trade after the NBA draft and the start of free agency.

It also preserves that all-important salary cap space for 2018, for whence the Lakers have dreams of Russell Westbrook and Paul George and, hell, maybe LeBron James or DeMarcus Cousins. Finding a good, young player who fits the growth arc for the current core — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle — without locking up 2018-19 cap space is perfect.

The only problem comes if Caldwell-Pope isn’t actually good. If the Lakers sputter again, they probably aren’t getting any of those big free agents. This time, L.A. really can’t afford a losing season. In that sense, the Lakers are betting a lot on KCP, Brook Lopez, and an infamous rookie point guard. Good luck!

Reminder: NBA free agent signing tracker and NBA free agent and trade rumor tracker.

The Hawks landed Dewayne Dedmon for $7 million next season, plus a player option Cheap Heat Jerseys year in 2018-19 at the same salary. If Dedmon can stop fouling so much, this is a sneaky good Dwight Howard replacement decision.

Jayson Tatum is tearing up the Summer League. Can it translate to the Cheap Hockey Jerseys Youth NBA? Ricky O’Donnell digs in.