Since the last offseason, rumors continue to swirl that Paul George wanted to play for his hometown team, Los Angeles Lakers. This forced the Indiana Pacers to trade him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, considering that they might lose him in free agency without getting anything in return. Before the start of 2017-18 NBA season, the “Big Three” of George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook was expected to make a huge noise in the Western Conference.
Unfortunately, the Thunder failed to live up to expectations and suffered an early playoff exit in the hands of Donovan Mitchell-led Utah Jazz. After suffering a disappointing season, rumors heated up that Paul George will leave the Thunder to pursue his dream of wearing the purple and gold. However, a recent report from Dean Blevins of News 9 revealed that George may consider re-signing with the Thunder when free agency hits in July (h/t Daily Thunder).
“Allegedly, apparently, Paul George plans to stay with the Thunder. I know it’s not what people believe but, in separate conversations, I’m told PG’s agent has told people associated with the NBA that PG believes the injury loss of Andre Roberson was huge and he’s staying. Disclaimer, though: Believing everything that agents allegedly say can be dangerous to your health.”
This is undeniably a heartbreaking news for the Lakers as most fans are already envisioning Paul George wearing the purple and gold next season. However, failing to acquire their superstar targets in free agency isn’t new for the Lakers. Almost every season, rumors are swirling that a superstar or two will sign with the Lakers. But when free agency actually starts, most of them choose to play for other NBA teams and didn’t even bother to give the Lakers the chance to have a meeting.
Blevins’ report could be true since there were multiple occasions during the 2017-18 NBA season when George hinted at his plan to continue his partnership with Russell Westbrook. However, it’s worth noting that Blevins put a disclaimer in his statements, saying that fans shouldn’t believe everything they hear, especially if it comes from the mouth of an NBA agent.
Unlike the previous offseasons, the Lakers are now under new management, and President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka looked confident that they can bring superstars in Los Angeles. However, even if they fail to sign Paul George or other incoming free agent superstars, the future is still bright for the Lakers having Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart on their roster.