All season, just about everyone following the Los Angeles Lakers knew that the current campaign was not just a chance to let their young players improve, but also an opportunity to impress Oklahoma City Thunder free agent and Southern California Native Paul George.
And while most seemed to assume — especially after a lackluster showing in the playoffs from Oklahoma City — that George would be Lakers bound, there have been some conflicting reports since then.
First, there Chris Haynes of ESPN saying on the radio that “somebody recently close with Paul was telling me they wouldn’t be surprised if he re-signed” with the Thunder, and now Dean Blevins of News 9 in Oklahoma City worded a similar sentiment even more strongly, saying that he’s heard George is “already planning” to re-sign with the Thunder (h/t Daily Thunder):
“Allegedly, apparently, Paul George plans to stay with the Thunder. I know it’s not what people believe but, in separate conversations, I’m told PG’s agent has told people associated with the NBA that PG believes the injury loss of Andre Roberson was huge and he’s staying.”
However, Blevins also made it clear he wasn’t even sure he believed what he’d heard:
“Disclaimer, though: Believing everything that agents allegedly say can be dangerous to your health.”
So what does this mean? Basically that we still know nothing, but that it also isn’t just safe to assume that George is L.A. bound just because he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, or due to the Thunder having a disappointing season.
Roberson isn’t the difference between the Thunder winning the title and what actually happened, but George wanting to run it back with OKC at full strength rather than join a developing Lakers team wouldn’t be the most shocking decision in the world if Roberson’s injury is factoring heavily into his thought process.