The Oklahoma City didn’t come anywhere close to meeting expectations in the 2017-18 season after acquiring Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the off-season, losing in six games in the 1st round to the Utah Jazz.
That is not exactly what anybody envisioned happening and makes Paull George’s free agency decision that much more interesting this summer, or has it already been decided?
Here is what Ryen Russillo said on ESPN:
“Russillo: “Today is the first time I’ve heard from anybody that I trust that George is gone.”
Russillo: “I don’t know where. It’s a ‘He’s gone’ deal.”
I heard (ESPN reporter) Royce Young say George thinks he’s leaning toward staying. George made it seem in the press conference after Game 6 that he genuinely was torn and maybe even wanted to stay…
Russillo: “I’m skeptical of sharing it […] because all of us watching (the press conference) were like, ‘Why would you even come back to this thing?’
“And I was like, Where is he going then? And (the source) was like, ‘All we know is that he’s gone.’ […]
“I know what Royce Young said, and I saw that coverage of it. Royce is fantastic and he would know better than I because he’s there.
“But Paul George also is somebody who knows what to say. But I wouldn’t trust anything he says.”
The Thunder’s lack of depth greatly hampered them this season and while I would say the Russell Westbrook and Paul George pairing went pretty smoothly, the addition of Carmelo Anthony to the mix did little to help them win games.
I still believe that George is legitimately torn, but he will have some options this summer.
There are a number of teams that could carve out enough space to sign him to a max deal this summer, here is that list: Lakers, Pacers, Kings, Hawks, Bulls, 76ers, Clippers, Mavericks, Suns.
Of that list there are really only two possibilities that seems to have any logical chance of happening, the Lakers or the 76ers. I doubt George chooses to join a rebuilding team, a team in transition like the Clippers or decides to go back to Indiana after all.
While George would easily be a more natural fit, you can assume that the 76ers will go full stream toward acquiring LeBron this summer which leaves one team to pursue George where there is definite mutual interest, the Lakers.
A month ago I would have told you that George returns to the Thunder next season, now I think he is destined to be a Laker. But the real question is may be will anybody join him?