Despite Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double for a second straight season, Paul George was arguably Oklahoma’s best and most consistent players in both ends of the floor, but wind up leaving on such a bad note after his no-show during game 6 of the playoffs.
Nonetheless, execs are pretty much going to just erase that poor performance from their minds and the fact that he’s been known for disappearing during the clutch, and are going to aggressively pursue his services as one of the league’s top-tier two-way studs during the summer when he’s set to enter free agency.
It seems quite unlikely that George resigns with the Thunder following yet another embarrassing first-round exit, so let’s take a look at the top 5 destinations for George to land for this upcoming season.
5. Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have quickly become one of everybody’s favorite teams to watch and a prime free agent destination after playing one of the most entertaining basketballs the league has seen in a couple of years, already making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs after winning 10 games a couple of seasons ago.
George could really put the cherry on top of the sundae with a Sixers squad that’s looking like a dynasty in the making, led by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric while Markelle Fultz waits for his opportunity to prove himself, and they’d definitely be title contenders with PG13 also on board.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
Paul George has been closely tied with a move to the Los Angeles Lakers for a couple of seasons now, with the league even issuing a tampering fine against Magic Johnson for reportedly having an influence in George’s desire to force a move out of the Indiana Pacers a year ago.
The Lakers are going to be a very good team for years with their standout core of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, but they would have to find some takers for Brandon Ingram should PG arrive. The California native grew as a diehard Lakers fan, and signing him would make it quite attractive for LeBron James to also jump on board.
3. New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have already excelled all expectations for this season after they swept the Portland Trail Blazers during the first round of the playoffs, especially considering they were forced to play without DeMarcus Cousins after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
In order to land George, they wouldn’t be able to give a max contract to Boogie, but he would be smart to take a minor pay cut in order to lift this team’s Championship odds. Also, they’d need to move Ajinca, Solomon Hill and Moore in order to clear cap space to sign him, with Mirotic likely heading to the bench as well.
2. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets have been closely tied with All-Star small forwards of the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James for this upcoming campaign, something that would likely mean that they’re not going to try and keep Trevor Ariza, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
With Carmelo Anthony playing so poorly and James most likely staying put at Cleveland, they might as well turn their heads towards Paul George, and if the Rockets are currently the team to beat, landing yet another top-notch defender and scorer would give them an NBA 2K kind of squad for sure
1. Golden State Warriors
And, talking about NBA 2K kind of squads, could you just imagine Paul George suiting up with the Dubs? Who could beat one of the best defensive teams in the world with this extra firepower and a starting lineup consisting of 5 All-Stars: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen, as they would just have to shut down the league and hand out the trophy to the Dubs already. Moreover, both Kevin Durant and Paul George would have to take a pay cut to make this deal work, and they would also be forced to trade both Livingston and Iguodala; but everybody knows it would definitely be worth it.