Whether Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George will leave in free agency for the Los Angeles Lakers or another NBA team this summer has been a matter of debate from basically the moment he was traded during the past offseason.
George made headlines all week both before and after the Thunder beat the Lakers, saying that he would have ‘loved’ to play for the Lakers and later that he enjoyed being recruited by the L.A. faithful.
But while George openly enjoys playing at Staples Center in front of family and friends, he said hailing from Los Angeles will not have a bearing on free agency, if or when he reaches that point, via Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript:
“The fact of the matter is I’m from here and I love being here but that has nothing to do with my decision with where I’m going to be playing at the end of the day,” George said following the Thunder’s Thursday 127-117 win over the Clippers. “I’m going to wait until I get to that point, and we’re going to sit down and have that conversation later.
“But I’m enjoying where I’m at. I’m enjoying this transition being here. It’s been good, nothing but great things. I’m happy. I’m happy. I’m content. It’s nothing but building with this group.”
That last line should give any Lakers fans assuming George is coming to Los Angeles no matter what pause. But it does also the hope that he’ll at least explore every option on the table when he does hit the free agent market this summer.
Perhaps further putting a damper on Lakers’ fans hopes was that George also said the Thunder didn’t necessarily have to win a championship in order to keep him in free agency. Russell Westbrook felt winning a title would be a sales pitch other teams simply could not match.
Now it’s just up to the Lakers to make sure that no other team can beat their pitch when they sit down with George in July.
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