With the NBA Finals behind us and LeBron James and Draymond Green throwing jabs at each other over their quickness, the NBA’s attention is turning towards moves made off the court. This offseason will be seen largely as the summer of Paul George, and his most recent remarks point to a quite month or so.
This is great news for the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans, who obviously hope to land the All-Star wing, but ideally would do so without giving up pieces of their talented young core of Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and whoever they take with the second overall pick one week from Thursday.
The risk in holding out for George’s free agency is that some other team (especially a title contender) could swoop in and make him happy enough to reconsider his desire to play for his hometown Lakers. That’s all moot, however, if teams are unwilling to make serious offers because he might bolt for L.A., anyway.
Sorry, Cavs fans, here’s what he had to say on the topic.
Paul George: "I'm a Pacer. I'm under contract for next season."— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 15, 2017
Paul George says he expects to play out his contract with the Pacers next season.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 15, 2017
Paul George said the goal remains the same: He wants to win a championship with the Pacers.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 15, 2017
Paul George said he hasn't talked with LeBron James & doesn't plan to talk to him this summer.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) June 15, 2017
Paul also said that he’s on the same page with the recently-promoted Kevin Pritchard, though it should be pointed out how difficult it will be to put a championship contender around George given their current stock of assets.
So, if George isn’t going to talk to LeBron, doesn’t want to be traded to another contender this season and the Pacers fail to put the right pieces around him, the stars seem to align for this superstar to sign with the Lakers a year from now.
If and/or when that happens, he’ll either have a young core ready to to take the next with him upon his arrival, or the Lakers will have plenty of assets to do what the Pacers have fallen short of aside for those random years Roy Hibbert was good at basketball.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled pettiness between the Cavs and Warriors.