Apparently, all the talk of Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Paul George leaving OKC in free agency this offseason has been nothing more than a pipedream for prospective suitors of George’s services, at least if we’re to believe George’s agent.
Every man and his dog has been speculating on the future playing destination of PG all season long, as the main reason George ended up in Oklahoma City in the first place is because he told the Indiana Pacers he’d be heading to Los Angeles once he hit free agency in 2018.
OKC acquired George on the then-cheap, hoping that a season alongside Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony would sway his decision, convincing him to stay for more than one season as a member of the Thunder.
The Thunder’s season didn’t go the way management initially hoped, and even though they made the postseason in the bloodbath that is the Western Conference, they were bounced in the first round by the Utah Jazz, reigniting talks of PG leaving for the Lakers in free agency.
But according to rumors, Paul George’s agent has been telling everyone that PG will actually be resigning with the Thunder.
Dean Blevins of News 9 reported on these rumors, stating that the loss of Andre Roberson really hurt OKC’s chances this season, and George wants another go-around with the squad at full health.
Very interesting Paul George info on the Blitz last night. Here's my 'Take': pic.twitter.com/lf8y2uISkb
— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) May 21, 2018
“Allegedly, apparently, Paul George plans to stay with the Thunder. I know. It’s not what people believe. But in separate conversations, I’m told P.G.’s agent has told people associated with the NBA that P.G. believes the injury loss of Andre Roberson was huge and he’s staying. Disclaimer, though: Believing everything that agents allegedly say can be dangerous to your health.”
Even if George considers this past season a write-off and wants one more go, what is the ceiling for this OKC roster? Sure, Westbrook averaged another triple-double this season, and Paul George was a DPOY candidate for a major stretch of the season, but as proven this season, those two can only get you so far.
Carmelo Anthony has begun his steep decline and was a non-factor in the Thunder’s series against the Jazz. His contract — which he will definitely opt in to — won’t help the Thunder either if they want to add some key bench pieces to fill out their roster if PG stays.
Even if Roberson was healthy for the playoffs, it’s debatable they would have beaten the Jazz, and if they did, they would have run into Harden and the Rockets, who are one game away from a Finals appearance.
The best move for George’s career, both legacy and financial-wise, is to ditch the Thunder and head to a team that has enough cap space to offer the max, as well as a roster full of youth that can contend for titles once the Warriors dynasty have broken up. Only two teams can offer George both of those things — being the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers — so there really isn’t a wrong answer if he decides to sign with either one. The only wrong decision will be re-signing with the Thunder and condemning himself to several years of fringe playoff appearances for the foreseeable future.