Paul George has been one of the most talked about players in the NBA over the last two offseasons. Last year, it was the trade request from the Indiana Pacers and the subsequent trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, George is set to hit open free agency and has quite a few teams interested in signing him.
Bleacher Report released their latest predictions for the top free agents this offseason and they currently believe that George will end up re-signing with the Thunder when everything is said and done.
“Of the concrete options he has, Oklahoma City appears to be the best, as the Thunder are already an established contender in the West with other superstars on their roster. If the Thunder improve the back end of their roster, they could move up to the top of the West next season, which is why it would be wise for George to stay.”
Oklahoma City has been growing more confident by the day that they can bring George back. At the end of the Thunder’s season, after being knocked out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, many thought George would jump ship and head home to Los Angeles with the Lakers. That talk has died down significantly over the past week or two.
During the 2017-18 NBA season with the Thunder, George developed a strong friendship with Russell Westbrook. While the Thunder did not succeed like many expected them to, they still believe that they can do so next year.
Another recent report surrounding the Thunder is that Carmelo Anthony has informed the team that he will opt into his contract. Oklahoma City was expecting that decision from Anthony, but didn’t necessarily want him to. Anthony was the biggest issue for Oklahoma City last season and simply did not fit in with George and Westbrook.
George averaged 21.9 points per game last season with the Thunder, while also chipping in 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.0 steals. He shot 43.0 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 40.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers show that George is more than capable of playing at an elite level alongside Westbrook.
Outside of the Lakers, George has been mentioned as a player of interest for a couple other teams. Those teams would be the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Both teams could use a player like George, who is capable of shouldering a big load on both sides of the court.
At 28-years-old, it will be interesting to see what George ends up doing this offseason. Staying with the Thunder would make a lot of sense, but he may only want to do so on a short-term contract.
Expect to hear more rumors come out about George over the next couple weeks with free agency set to open on July 1.