Paul George will spend the 2017-2018 NBA season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. At the end of the season, George will be a free agent and if we are to believe what PG said just a few weeks ago, he will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s as close to a guaranteed outcome as there is in sports. At least it was until you hear what Paul George has to say about it.
Via Sports Illustrated:
“For me, it’s all about winning. I want to be in a good system, a good team. I want a shot to win it. I’m not a stats guy. I’m playing this game to win and build a legacy of winning. I’ve yet to do that. I’m searching for it. If we get a killer season in Oklahoma, we make the conference finals or upset the Warriors or do something crazy, I’d be dumb to want to leave that.”
Wait, so if PG is saying he would stay with the team if he were to reach a Conference Finals, then how dumb do the Boston Celtics look for not trading a couple of their draft picks and a starter for George?
On the other side, the Lakers decision to wait for George to come in a year rather than trade for him when he was available seems like more of a gamble now.
More from SI:
“I’m in OKC, so hopefully me and Russ do a good enough job and make it to the conference finals and love the situation, why not recruit someone to come build it with us? I’m open in this whole process.”
If Paul George is truly all about winning then it is actually highly unlikely he signs with the Lakers in 2018. Even if the Lakers make a tremendous leap this season and fight for the 8-seed, they’re still a team full of guys who are years away from competing for a title.
Sure, there’s the possibility that George is just saying these things to win over the fans of Oklahoma City. Maybe he wants a peaceful season in the locker room without everyone looking ahead to what might happen after the season. That would be the smart thing to do. But what if he’s not just being smart, but he’s also being truthful?