NBA rumors are getting louder that Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George will be heading to the Los Angeles Lakers next summer.
The Thunder has been struggling to get above the.500 mark this season as the Big Three experiment of George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook seemed to be not working for the club. They are currently out of the playoff picture in the West with a 12-14 record.
Some analysts believe that with only 26 games passing, it is still too early to tell whether the experiment has failed. The Thunder players seem to agree as Westbrook referred to it when asked about whether the time is running out for their version of a Big Three.
“Twenty-six games. Eighty-two-game season,” Westbrook told ESPN.
However, rival executives around the league are said to be “expecting” George to sign with the Lakers in next year’s free agency, Yahoo Sports‘ Dan Feldman reported, citing USA Today‘s Sam Amick.
Feldman said that it is not clear whether these executives really do have inside info on George or if they are plainly presuming since the four-time NBA All-Star has always been open about his plan to join his hometown squad in the future.
Feldman then opined that some of these execs are “incentivized” to stir up the Lakers’ viability, as they know it would lower OKC’s asking price for George.
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency, meaning his trade value will be depressed. Also, OKC is just 3 games out of 4th spot in the West. Still time… https://t.co/EKZGEIMT8i
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 13, 2017
Meanwhile, there are also rumors that George himself is hyping the Lakers move, in case he wanted to get out of the Thunder should things go south. With everyone aware that he is eager to be in L.A., teams would not have to trade more assets for him and a deal can be completed much quicker.
Whatever are the real reasons behind these rumors, it is becoming evident that George is getting unhappy in Oklahoma City because of all the losing.
CBS Sports‘ Jack Maloney affirmed it, saying that George is “frustrated” about the Thunder’s current situation. NBA analyst Chris Broussard also thinks the former NBA Most Improved Player “does not look happy at all” at this time.
Of course, these rumors do not mean anything as of the moment, except drum up what George had been saying all along. However, if the Thunder continues to slip as the February trade deadline draws near, then the story could be different as these league execs are expected to try and pry away George from becoming a Laker soon.
"I'd give it until the first week of January and if it doesn't get better I'm looking to move Paul George… Cleveland would be right there at the top of potential landing spots right along with the Lakers." — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/7bhOnjDioa
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 12, 2017