NBA Trade Rumors: Struggles From The Oklahoma City Thunder Could Lead To Paul George Trade

As the struggles continue for the Oklahoma City Thunder, could the NBA trade rumors involving Paul George build steam?

Paul George enters the Oklahoma City Thunder game.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

As the struggles continue for the Oklahoma City Thunder, could the NBA trade rumors involving Paul George build steam?

Perennial NBA all-star Paul George could be on his way off of the Oklahoma City Thunder roster. The losses continue to mount for the Thunder, and the struggles on the basketball court between Paul George and the other Thunder stars have become clearer.

Change may be on the horizon for the proud franchise. One of those changes is what some may perceive as a pending divorce between the OKC Thunder and Paul George. Whether or not George stays, leaves in a trade, or moves on via NBA free agency, there is the expectation that something could take place if the Thunder cannot turn things around.

Paul George, to his credit, has stated that he would commit to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a recent interview with Bleacher Report.

“This could possibly be me being here for multiple years. But… I’m not going to just throw it in and be like, ‘No, I’m done with this.’ We’ve got a long, long, long season ahead of us. And I’m committed to that.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder have only played 30 games thus far. It suggests that Paul George is still learning how to play with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.

The struggles that have led to the Thunder’s 15-15 record are not solely on Paul George. The stars of the Thunder, including George, have not figured each other’s games out just yet.

A trade could happen if the Thunder continues to struggle. Given his status as a soon-to-be NBA free agent, Paul George is the only name out of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony that will be bandied about in NBA trade rumors.

If the OKC Thunder decide to shake things up, they will at least conduct exploratory NBA trade talks for Paul George. George could leave the Thunder next summer without the team getting any compensation in return.

The trade value for a pending free agent is not the greatest, even if his name is Paul George. However, the Thunder will be able to protect themselves in the event George changes his mind and wants to flee Oklahoma City.

The Paul George to the Los Angeles Lakers rumors will not go away.

According to Clutch Sports, the Lakers are still on the radar of the Thunder star if he were to leave OKC. Would the Thunder and Lakers becoming keen on the idea of trading Paul George for one of the young Lakers’ players make sense for both teams?

Paul George defends a forward.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s gamble trading for Paul George has not paid off according to plan just yet. Andy Lyons / Getty Images

NBA trade rumors regarding Paul George and the Los Angeles Lakers were running rampant prior to the Indiana Pacers trading him (courtesy of NBA.com) to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now that the Thunder has stumbled out of the gate, those NBA trade rumors involving Paul George have reemerged.

If the Thunder fears that they will lose Paul George, they could engage the Lakers in trade discussions. A combination of Julius Randle and either Luol Deng or a draft pick is feasible.

Of all the teams which will receive mentions in NBA trade rumors if the OKC Thunder explore the trade market for George, the LA Lakers makes sense.

The Thunder has to understand that the Lakers would be Paul George’s preferred destination if he leaves in the offseason. Where the Thunder can take some solace is that George wants to see if the team can turn things around.

As it currently stands, the Lakers may be in a better position for the future than the Thunder. Adding Paul George in an NBA trade or via free agency expedites the process, while potentially damaging the Thunder. Hence, the NBA trade rumors that circulate about George, the Thunder, and the Lakers.

The first big change which could take place with the Oklahoma City Thunder is a coaching change.

Before the front office of the OKC Thunder think about trading Paul George to the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team, Thunder coach Billy Donovan could find himself on the hot seat.

Paul George shoots a free throw.
Paul George has been able to showcase his isolation ability, but it has played a role in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s stalled offensive game. Andy Lyons / Getty Images

No one watches the Thunder without the thought that their offense is stagnant. George, Westbrook, and Anthony often stand around watching each other showcase their isolation abilities.

The Thunder offense is lacking movement 30 games into the NBA season. A coaching change, even if it is the removal of the lead offensive assistant could alter what the Thunder stars are currently doing.

Despite all of the growing NBA trade rumors surrounding the Oklahoma City Thunder, nothing major will happen yet. Basketball chemistry takes a while to develop. To be fair to the situation that the Thunder find themselves in, 30 games is not enough time for three stars to find their niche.

If the losses continue to add up and the Oklahoma City Thunder has an even record once February comes, the NBA trade rumors regarding Paul George will grow larger. If the Thunder holds on to George past the NBA trade deadline, they run the risk of him leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

Will the Oklahoma City Thunder’s gamble on Paul George pay off eventually? The next 20 games will determine that.