There are two other possible scenarios, however unlikely, based on player loyalty or calculated ring chasing.
1) Player Loyalty
Paul Pierce was proud to leave Boston with a ton of draft picks from Brooklyn. He tried to help the Nets the next season, but what he’ll be remembered for is sacrificing himself to set up the Celtics for the next five years.
Steve Nash came to the Lakers and not only set up the Suns’ rebuilding efforts, but soaked his hated rivals for every penny of his contract, even though he played all of eleven games during the 2013 season.
If Paul George is a really a stand up guy who wants to be a Laker, he should 1) force a trade to Boston for a ton of draft picks to help rebuild his old team, 2) play one season with the Celtics and then 3) leave in free agency to go to the Lakers.
2) Calculated Ring Chasing
George goes to Cleveland to play with Lebron for a year to chase a ring. If all goes well, Lebron picks up stakes with George and they both head to the Lakers and their young core.
The Lakers could counter the Warriors’ lineup of death as follows:
Lebron vs Igoudala
George vs Thompson
Ingram vs Durant
Nance/Randle vs Green
Ball vs Curry
With two great players, everyone shifts down two positions and suddenly the Lakers bench looks powerful: Russell, Clarkson, Nance/Randle, Zubac, Black, and maybe a draft pick who can play 3 and D, like Justin Jackson, Josh Hart, Tyler Dorsey, Sindarius Thornwell, or Dillon Brooks. (I especially like Dorsey for his clutch shot making and his ability to create. Also, it’s surprising that the Ringer doesn’t have PAC-12 player of the year Dillon Brooks in the top 60.)