Paul George is heading into an offseason that he has full control of his destiny. Last offseason, George was traded by the Indiana Pacers and did not end up going to the team that he wanted to play for. That team was the Los Angeles Lakers, the team that he was a fan of watching growing up.
Now, George has the freedom to sign with the Lakers should he choose to do so. Magic Johnson is likely going to throw an aggressive offer to George and L.A. is an intriguing landing spot. As for George, there is a good chance that he will end up in L.A., but he won’t sign with them without listening to other teams as well.
Rumors have been flying that George might end up re-signing to a short-term deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. There are also new reports about a third team that could jump into the mix.
According to a report shared by Bleacher Report, the Houston Rockets are interested in pursuing George this offseason. Houston is fresh off of a disappointing Game 7 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but know that they have a good chance to get back to that point in 2018-19.
Last offseason, the Rockets were one of the teams that tried to acquire George from the Pacers. Unfortunately for Houston, they did not have enough to entice Indiana to pull the trigger on a trade. George would be a perfect fit alongside Chris Paul and James Harden.
During the series against Golden State, it was apparent that Houston could use a lockdown defensive presence. No one on the Rockets’ roster could defend Kevin Durant. George may not be able to shut Durant down, but he has the skill-set to at least stick with him and force him to work for everything he gets.
George would also fit in with Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system. He has become a deadly three-point shooter and is also capable of putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. Houston could use a better small forward when it comes to those areas, as Trevor Ariza simply didn’t get the job done against the Warriors.
Throughout the 2017-18 regular season with the Thunder, George ended up averaging 21.9 points per game to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He shot 43.0 percent from the field overall and knocked down 40.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers would be nice in Houston.
Expect to see the Rockets show interest in bringing in a star via free agency this offseason. George would make perfect sense and LeBron James is still rumored as a potential target.
If the Rockets want to get past the Warriors next offseason, adding one of the two is a must.