Paul George and LeBron James are both expected to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Multiple NBA rumors suggest that the superstars will pair up with one team to win multiple NBA championship titles. Though signs suggest that they will join the Los Angeles Lakers, there is a growing belief that George and James will play together with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 2017-18 NBA season is far from over, but rumors regarding LeBron James’ free agency continues to be the hottest topic in the league. Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer recently revealed that James narrowed down his list of potential free agency destinations. These include the Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Lakers.
All four teams undeniably have something to offer to James. The Rockets have Chris Paul and James Harden, while the Sixers have Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The Lakers currently have one of the most promising rosters and created enough salary cap space to sign another superstar to pair with James. The Cavaliers’ moves before the February 8 trade deadline were somewhat expected to convince LeBron to stay in Cleveland.
However, most people believe James will only consider returning to the Cavaliers if they manage to reclaim the NBA championship title or make a huge improvement to their roster in the upcoming offseason. Being buried deep in the luxury tax hell, Cleveland is unlikely to make a huge splash in free agency aside from re-signing James. Brad Botkin of CBS Sports suggested that the Cavaliers could take the trade route with Paul George as a potential trade target.
“The Cavs can’t get into the free agency race because they just have way too much money on the books, but trades are doable. Perhaps Paul George, if he were motivated enough, would opt in with the Thunder and then accept a trade to the Cavs. If you’re the Thunder, and you’re going to lose George anyway, you’d love to get back that Brooklyn pick and Kevin Love, for instance.”
The proposed deal that would send Kevin Love and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Paul George will undeniably benefit both teams. The acquisition of George will greatly help the Cavaliers in convincing LeBron James to stay. In late January, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed on The Lowe Post that James was upset when the Cavaliers missed the chance to acquire George and Eric Bledsoe in a three-team trade.
James is really looking forward to teaming up with George. His first season in Oklahoma City proves that he can maximize his effectiveness even when he plays alongside other superstars. Unlike Love, who has defensive issues, George will boost the Cavaliers on both ends of the floor.
Meanwhile, the potential sign-and-trade will be the best option for the Thunder if Paul George won’t commit to re-signing with the team. Love will be a good fit in OKC, playing as their new starting power forward. This will allow Carmelo Anthony to slide back to his normal position at three. The Brooklyn pick will enable them to add another young and talented player on their roster.