Well before their season came to an end, the Los Angeles Lakers cleared an ample amount of salary cap space to sign two max-level free agents this summer. The initial thought was Paul George, LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins would be the focal points.
When Cousins tore his Achilles tendon, it left George and James as this year’s marquee free agents. For George, he’s been tied to the Lakers since his days with the Indiana Pacers. Matters came to a head last summer, when George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
There was a belief a successful season and strong showing in the playoffs would entice George to re-sign with the Thunder. But an up-and-down campaign and first-round exit haven’t provided for any clarity in terms of free agency.
What is certain is that George won’t quite be 100 percent healthy come July 1. According to ESPN’s Mark Spears, the Thunder announced George underwent a left knee scope:
The Thunder say forward Paul George had left knee scope today and will be able to return to basketball activities in six to eight weeks.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 9, 2018
The announcement explains the photo George shared of himself on social media, with a caption that suggested he was upbeat. George was wearing a hospital gown in picture.
Although George won’t yet be able to participate in offseason workouts, he should make a full recovery in time for training camp with the Thunder, Lakers, or whichever team that signs the All-Star. Moreover, the surgery is unlikely to negatively impact his earning power.
Earlier this month it was reported the Lakers remained the favorite to sign George, who will command a max-contract.