The Los Angeles Lakers have made it known they have big plans for the upcoming summer and players around the NBA are confident they’ll draw the attention of at least a few big fish, namely Paul George and LeBron James.
In a survey conducted by ESPN, 48 unnamed NBA players answered questions regarding the fast approaching free agency period with a number of the questions having to do with James and George, arguably the two biggest available names this summer.
According to the survey, 22 percent of the players believe James will sign with the Lakers this summer. While that might not seem like a lot, their odds are only second to the Cleveland Cavaliers (66 percent).
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, 16 percent of players don’t want James to sign with Los Angeles. But players would rather James sign with the Lakers than the Sixers or the Warriors, according to the survey. Lakers fans feel the same way.
Expected to join him in La La Land is none other than Paul George, who hasn’t been shy about expressing his feelings toward playing for his hometown this season.
According to the survey, less than 10 percent of players OKC’s opening-night starting lineup will include Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and it’s not because they’re concerned about Westbrook leaving.
“George will be in L.A. in two years anyway,” an Eastern Conference forward said.
Meanwhile, 45 percent of players believe Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony will still be on the same team come opening night. 24 percent of players believe all three will be back.
George and James will continue to be tied to the Lakers until one or both of them signs a multi-year deal with a new team this summer. The two met with each other this past summer, but James insists there was nothing to it, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
This past summer, when Cleveland was trying to trade for him, Paul George said he and LeBron had lunch because they were in the same place on the same day, but "it wasn't about teaming up." Just strengthening their bond.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 17, 2018
Sure, and Paul George and Brian Shaw were just talking about fishing.
The Lakers will hope to finish the season strong in hopes of securing meetings with both James and George. Since coming back from the All-Star break, the Lakers have looked good, winning five of their last six games. Compare that to OKC (4-3) and the Cavs (3-4).
Just saying, fellas.
All quotes and statistics were provided by the original survey conducted by ESPN.