Paul George is set to hit free agency this offseason and will be one of the most talked about names in the NBA. After being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason, rumors have continued swirling that George would leave town to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. While many think he will end up in L.A., others have their own opinions about what the star small forward will do.
According to a prediction from 247 Sports, George will re-sign with the Thunder on a short-term contract.
Oklahoma City was expected to be a powerhouse in the Western Conference this season. Bringing George in to play with Russell Westbrook was a move that Sam Presti thought would help the Thunder compete with teams like the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. Presti also acquired Carmelo Anthony in a blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks.
Unfortunately, the three Thunder stars did not fit well together. Oklahoma City was never able to find chemistry and ended up being knocked out in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Utah Jazz.
George has been linked to quite a few teams already since the Thunder’s season ended. He has been rumored to be interested in the Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers.
During the 2017-18 season with the Thunder, George averaged 21.9 points per game to go along with 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.0 steals. He shot 43.0 percent from the field overall and knocked down 40.1 percent of his three-point attempts.
Those numbers show exactly why the Thunder need to do everything in their power to bring George back.
If Presti gave up Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for one season of George that didn’t get them past the first round of the playoffs, Oklahoma City will be hurting. Oladipo became an All-Star in 2017-18 and Sabonis developed nicely for the Indiana Pacers.
Only time will tell where George will play the next chapter of his career. If the Thunder can convince George to come back on a one- or two-year deal, it will be a major win for them. Playing with Westbrook was a good experience for George, but there were times that George looked frustrated with his role.
Expect to see the Thunder put on a full-court press to re-sign George immediately when free agency opens. They cannot afford for him to leave, but may be fighting an uphill battle to bring him back.