The Los Angeles Lakers have been rumored to be targeting current Oklahoma City Thunder forward and 2018 free agent Paul George for the majority of the last calendar year. Additionally, there had long been rampant whispers that the Palmdale native would like to return home to Southern California.
Those intentions led a queasy Indiana Pacers front office to trade George to the Thunder over the summer. Now, he’s not only had success with his new team, but George has also said that he’s ‘happy’ in Oklahoma City, even if it doesn’t mean he’s ruling out any of his options in free agency.
And while George’s chemistry with and levels of happiness playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Carmel Anthony have been nitpicked, George also made it clear to Sam Amick of USA Today that he has more than basketball to consider when he’s making his free agency choice.
“Well, I mean I’m happy here,” George said. “I’m happy here. I’m happy with this group. At the end of the season, it’s still on my decision on what I need to do for my family. That has nothing to do with my happiness here though. I’ve been really happy. It’s a great organization to be a part of, but again, you know, I don’t want people looking at this and (saying) like, ‘Hey, because he said it’s his happiness at the end of the day (that he’s definitely re-signing).
When analyzing NBA free agency, too often observers only look at the basketball fit of various rumored suitors for prospective free agents and forget that these players are human beings with other factors to take into account other than their teammates or the organization’s level of success when choosing where they want to work.
Sports are just fun for most, but for George they’re a job, and he has to pick whatever job is going to be best for his family just like anyone else with a family would. For George, whether that’s working in Oklahoma City, Los Angeles or in another city remains to be seen and can’t be known for sure until this summer.
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