One of the biggest shocks of the 2018 NBA offseason wasn’t just Paul George choosing to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but him doing so without meeting with any team.
It had long been rumored that George was practically a lock to land with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he didn’t even meet with the team during free agency.
The franchise was able to recover and still signing LeBron James, but pairing him with Paul George would’ve been huge and given the Lakers the two superstars the front office desires. Of course, it didn’t happen and while George didn’t meet with the Lakers, that doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t have information on them.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, George got some info on the inner workings of the Lakers from his then-Thunder teammate and former Laker, Corey Brewer:
George never gave the Lakers an opportunity to shoot their shot. But he had a wealth of information available to him about the inner workings of the Lakers without ever hearing a word from Magic Johnson. For example, George played in Oklahoma City with Corey Brewer in the second half of the 2017-18 season, after Brewer was waived by L.A. in February. Brewer divulged his Lakers experience to George, sources said.
Brewer spent parts of two seasons with the Lakers playing in 78 games over the 2017 and 2018 NBA seasons. He was highly regarded as a great professional and excellent teammate who worked hard. With someone of Brewer’s character, it is unlikely that he buried the organization to George, but clearly his words couldn’t convince George to head to Los Angeles.
With George being a fringe MVP candidate and a likely All-NBA First Team selection this season, the Lakers would obviously be much better had he signed this offseason. Now the front office must simply turn to the upcoming summer in hopes of landing that second superstar that many believed was a given in George.