Coming into the season, one of the most intriguing teams in the entire NBA was the Oklahoma City Thunder. After adding All-Stars in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to put alongside reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, many looked at them as a potential foil to the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Things haven’t worked out so well at this point, however as the Thunder are just 15-15 and rank near the bottom of the league in many offensive categories including points per game, field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage.
This, as expected, has led to many rumors about the future of George who is a free agent after this season.
But according to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, the Thunder don’t have any thoughts of trading George:
According to a league source with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Thunder were under no delusions that George was committing to anything beyond this season when they shipped Oladipo and Sabonis—products of the Serge Ibaka trade with Orlando—to Indiana for the four-time All-Star. Furthermore, the source said, the team has shown no inclination to entertain trade discussions.
Additionally, George himself sounds like someone who doesn’t want to go anywhere else this season:
“We all enjoy playing with one another,” George told B/R. “This could possibly be me being here for multiple years. But … I’m not going to just throw it in and be like, ‘No, I’m done with this.’ We’ve got a long, long, long season ahead of us. And I’m committed to that.”
Oklahoma City was left with nothing when Kevin Durant decided to join the Warriors as a free agent in 2016 and it would make sense that the team wouldn’t want to put itself in that position again. But the Thunder may lack leverage in trading George because of the Los Angeles Lakers.
George has long been linked to signing with Lakers in the summer of 2018, and L.A. will undoubtedly have the salary cap space to make that happen. However, George has always maintained that winning is most important to him.
And if he were to end up in the right situation prior to the trade deadline, or if Oklahoma City manages to turn the corner, George may never make it to his hometown team like many believe is a foregone conclusion.
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