Paul George was one of the most talked about names of the NBA offseason and is set to start the next chapter of his career in Oklahoma City with the Thunder this season. After being traded by the Indiana Pacers, George is excited to join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook as the Thunder ready to pursue the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
Needless to say, the Thunder fan base could not be more excited to have George in town. They showed up in a big way when George first landed in Oklahoma City and strongly believe that he is the second star beside Westbrook that the Thunder have needed to make a championship push.
Looking ahead at the upcoming season, it is hard to imagine George living up to the Durant hype that he is receiving. He has had some highly successful seasons in Indiana, but has never reached that consistent superstar status that Durant has had throughout his career. George is a top-notch, two-way player, but has struggled at times with offensive consistency throughout his career to this point.
Rumors have been flying that George could already have one foot out the door in Oklahoma City. He has been connected with the Lakers and many believe that he will end up signing with L.A. following the 2017-18 season in free agency. The Thunder hope to re-sign him, but George certainly didn’t give the Pacers the idea that he would consider passing up on his hometown team.
All of that being said, what predictions can be made for George’s 2017-18 season with the Thunder and what should fans expect from him?
George Will Average at Least 22 Points Per Game
First of all, George is going to put up a lot of shots in Oklahoma City alongside Westbrook. He will not be the No. 1 option, but the Thunder will need him to put up points in a major supporting role. George will be fun to watch on the offensive side of the court.
He Will End Up Top-Five in Defensive Player of the Year Voting
As we have mentioned in this article already, George is known for being an elite perimeter defender. He has proven himself over and over again on the defensive side of the court and will do so once again this season. When everything is said and done, George will be a top-five Defensive Player of the Year award candidate.
Paul George Will Make 230 Three-Point Shots at a 40 Percent Clip
George has been a knockdown three-point shooter over the last few years and will continue that trend this season, with Westbrook’s ability to penetrate the lane likely to get him open. He will knock down a career-high 230 three-point shots this season and will do so while shooting 40 percent from the arc.
Oklahoma City Will Make the Western Conference Finals with the Westbrook/George Duo
Finally, George will help the team make a deep playoff run and set up a chance to face off against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. They likely aren’t good enough to defeat the Warriors, but the George and Westbrook combination will be tough to beat. George won’t be an MVP candidate, but he will put together an impressive all-around season.
Expect to see the Thunder put together a big season and force George to consider sticking around. He may not end up deciding to re-sign, but if he does, the Thunder are going to be a championship threat for a long time.
What kind of season are you expecting to see from Paul George in 2017-18? Would you add any predictions onto this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
[Featured Image by Sue Ogrocki/AP Images]