Paul George was one of the most talked about players in the NBA this offseason heading into free agency. After being traded by the Indiana Pacers to the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason, many thought he would be a one-and-done with his new team. Instead, George chose to re-sign with the Thunder on a long-term contract early on in free agency.
According to a recent interview with George, as shared by Bleacher Report, the Los Angeles Lakers were upset with the star forward about not getting a visit with him in free agency. Many rumors had swirled ahead of the offseason that the Lakers were likely to land George.
“L.A. was pissed at me. I didn’t give Magic [Johnson] a [meeting], which I understand. But at that point, I knew I wanted to give it another shot. I didn’t want to prolong it and waste people’s time.”
As many fans will remember, George made it clear to the entire league that he wanted to play for the Lakers last offseason. He actually made it known to other teams through his agent, which hurt the Pacers as they tried to trade him.
Despite all of the rumors tying him to L.A., George will be returning to a Thunder team looking to make some noise in the Western Conference. They were expected to compete last season, but things simply did not work with George, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony. Anthony was traded this offseason, which many believe will be a major addition by subtraction.
During the 2017-18 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 floor overall and knocked down 40.1 percent of his three-point attempts. George was also one of the top perimeter defenders in the league.
In another recent interview, George talked about appreciating the Lakers wanting him and about how he wanted to join the team the offseason before if they had acquired him.
“I 100 percent appreciate Laker Nation for wanting me to come back home, wanting me to play in front of them. I wanted to come here a year ago, prior to going to OKC. Unfortunately, wasn’t traded to the Lakers. Lakers didn’t grab me. I was traded to Oklahoma, and that has been a beautiful thing for me.”
Needless to say, those comments have not sat well with Lakers’ fans. Magic Johnson likely isn’t too happy with George curbing him either.
All of that being said, George will be with the Thunder for at least the next few seasons. While heading to L.A. to play for the Lakers cannot be counted out for George in the future, it won’t be anytime soon.