The arrival of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony is expected to make the Oklahoma City Thunder a legitimate title contender in the 2017-18 NBA season. Unfortunately, as of now, the Thunder are struggling to build good chemistry and currently reside in the 10th spot in the Western Conference with an 8-12 record. If they fail to address their on-court issues, an NBA analyst believes George will be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the February 8 deadline.
The Thunder’s 108-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors created optimism that they have the chance to dominate the Western Conference this season. However, they have been unable to become consistent, losing the past three games against teams who are not even considered strong playoff contenders. One of the NBA teams who could benefit with OKC’s situation is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cavaliers should give up on targeting Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and focus on Paul George. Since the offseason, George’s name has been frequently mentioned in rumors involving the Cavaliers. The 27-year-old small forward will become an unrestricted free agent next summer and is expected to leave the Thunder if they fail to at least enter the Western Conference Finals.
The Los Angeles Lakers emerged as the top free agency destination of Paul George where he could team up with LeBron James. However, instead of heading to Los Angeles, both superstars may consider winning an NBA championship title together in Cleveland. As of now, the Cavaliers are doing their best to convince James to stay, and trading for another superstar is one of their main options. With a plethora of trade assets, Cleveland is in a strong position to make another blockbuster deal.
Given OKC's struggles, the Cavs would be wise to keep tabs on Paul George, a player they aggressively pursued prior to the blockbuster Thunder/Pacers deal in the offseason. https://t.co/8NEOfU0cXB pic.twitter.com/nQ9bIsK2Dq
— Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) November 30, 2017
However, according to 247 Sports, the Cavaliers aren’t expected to make a move until they figure out what they really need to strengthen their chance of reclaiming the title. After struggling earlier this season, Cleveland returns to the win column and managed to extend their streak to nine after a 108-97 victory over the Miami Heat. Paul George will undeniably be a solid addition to Cleveland, but he may also disrupt the team’s chemistry.
Before considering another blockbuster trade, the Cavaliers may be wanting to see if they can beat the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, fans will be needing to wait a little bit longer since the first faceoff of the season between the Cavaliers and the Warriors will be on Christmas day. Once Paul George becomes officially available on the trade market, the Cavaliers are expected to make an offer. However, George isn’t the only superstar on Cleveland’s radar. Other potential trade targets for the Cavaliers include Marc Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, and Greg Monroe.