It’s been rumored all offseason that Paul George is a “lock” to sign with his hometown LA Lakers next summer when he hits free agency. Before he was traded to the Thunder, many believed whoever traded for the All-Star forward would only be getting a rental. A lot of people around Boston thought that it would be a waste of time and assets because we wouldn’t win right away, and he would just walk to LA next summer no matter what he could have accomplished here. I personally never believed in this notion.
If Paul George really wants to win like he claims he does, why would he leave a team like OKC or Boston just to get stuck in the middle of a rebuild in LA? I get that it’s LA and it’s a big market and he’s from there and all that, but it just doesn’t make sense. We all know that every superstar in the NBA has been rumored to go to the Lakers, it’s been happening forever. DeMar DeRozan was supposed to be a lock to go home last summer, but he stayed in Toronto because they gave him a better chance to win basketball games. LA can throw money at you, but they simply can’t offer a super-star player of George’s caliber the chance to win right now. I don’t get why anybody trying to win right now would go there. The whole thing was blown way out of proportion.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 11, 2017
A quote from George came out today, basically brushing the whole Lakers thing under the table for now. Obviously, this is exactly what George should be saying after joining a new team. He isn’t going to say “yeah I’m probably going to leave this place next summer.” But Sam Presti is one of the smartest GM’s in the league, and I don’t think he would’ve made the move for George unless he knew there was a strong chance he’d stay in OKC if they have a good season next year. Nobody is a lock to do anything one year before their impending free agency. A lot of things can change over the course of one season.
The trade to OKC was an absolute stunner. Boston was the one landing spot that we were hearing about the most, then OKC came out of nowhere and scooped him up for pennies on the dollar. I don’t care if anybody disagrees with this, but I feel like George had Pacers management by the balls once it became public that he was going to leave them. It felt like a trade to the Celtics was so close, but the one thing keeping it from happening was George. I don’t think he wanted to play in Boston. Why were the Pacers in such a rush to get him off the books when they could’ve just traded him a few days later for a better package? The Oladipo/Sabonis deal would’ve been there after Gordon Hayward agreed to sign in Boston, which was the one thing the C’s needed to feel more comfortable about pulling the trigger on George. I think once George found out a deal to Boston was imminent, he told management to look elsewhere, which is why they shipped him to OKC as quick as possible. OKC might have the MVP in Westbrook, but Boston is in a much better position to win and get to the Finals for years to come. I feel like there was something about the city that George didn’t like. Boston has often been labeled as a racist city, which makes many super-star athletes not want to come here. Maybe that’s what scared him off to Oklahoma City. I’m going to shoot my shot now and say that he and Westbrook re-sign in OKC next year.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)