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The Reason Why Paul George Didn’t Sign For The Lakers

Paul George Wanted To Play For Lakers, But They Never Traded For Him

This year, Paul George was traded to Oklahoma City, to join MVP Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony to form a big 3 with the Thunder. It was a risky deal as George had interests in joining the Lakers when he hit free agency the following season. A one-year rental to be exact. George was quite surprised they took the gamble on him and had to give OKC props.

"It was an awesome gamble," George said at USA Basketball minicamp Thursday, via ESPN's Marc J. Spears. "They went all-in and went blackjack."

George signing with the Lakers wouldn’t have been a big surprise, going back to his hometown seemed like the viable option. However, George agreed to a four-year, $137M max contract with the Thunder including a player-option.

He gave an explanation about his decision, via Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver:

"It was absolutely tempting. Honestly, I wanted to come back home. But again, I got traded to Oklahoma. Loved the situation. Loved where I was at. I decided to stick around a little longer.

"I just wanted my free agency to be over with. In my heart, I felt great about Oklahoma and I wasn't going to prolong it if I felt good about it already."

"When I told the Pacers I wanted to play [in LA], that was true feelings. I wanted to come back home. To play for home, to put that jersey on for family and for what I grew up watching. I wanted to carry that legacy. But I went to Oklahoma, fell in love with it and I'm happy with the decision."

George was adamant about ending up at his hometown with Lakers. However, he fell in love with the city of Oklahoma and does see his future there for now. A great turn out for OKC, securing one of the best forwards in the league. George and the big 3 had big expectations coming into the playoffs, unfortunately getting eliminated by Utah in the first round. With the departure of Carmelo Anthony, George, Westbrook and the Thunder will now look in a different direction to bring a championship to Oklahoma City.