With a 20-16 record and a rather "meh" performance so far this season, the L.A. Lakers have to be wondering what could've been had they traded for Paul George in the summer of 2017.
Remember, back then, he was adamant on wanting to wear the Purple and Gold, and it was no secret that the Thunder made him available as to avoid losing him for nothing the following summer. Instead of putting their chips on the table to go all-in on the bonafide All-Star, they stood pat, instead electing to wait things out and hold on to their apparently untradeable young guys.
Brad Botkin of CBS Sports recently described how the Lakers might have been, had they pulled the trigger on a trade for George like many think they should have.
“I know the Lakers are high on their young guys, and that they likely would’ve had to give up either Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram, if not both, to get George. I also know the chances of either Ingram or Ball becoming anywhere near the player George is are slim, and in the meantime, the Lakers would be a no-doubt title contender right now with George next to LeBron James and still a solid core of young and veteran players around them.”
Despite the occasional flash of brilliance. Lonzo, and Ingram, and Kuzma, and Hart have yet to show a consistent capability of playing at a top-tier level. Zo still can't shoot, Ingram just isn't an aggressive enough scorer, and Kuzma lacks the efficiency and defensive prowess needed to call him a star.
Meanwhile, Paul George would have been everything the Lakers currently need. Fortunately, it's not too late to make something happen for the Lakeshow. With the summer of 2019 coming up, there's plenty of opportunities to find themselves another star without even having to give anything up.
If they don't, however, they'll forever be regretting their unwillingness to trade for one when they had the chance.