One of the biggest names in free agency this summer is Oklahoma City Thunder wing Paul George. After spending his career in Indiana, George was traded to the Thunder last summer, teaming up with fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook.
Things didn’t quite work out as planned as the team never quite clicked and they were ultimately eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. That led many to assume that George will almost certainly leave this summer, but there are plenty of factors at play.
Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania appeared on the Yahoo NBA Podcast with Chris Mannix and explained the possibility of George re-signing with the Thunder could very well come down to a strong relationship he has with Westbrook:
“I think there is a lot of positivity around it. And I think even around Paul George, I think there’s a sense he feels like he’s in a good place in Oklahoma City. But things change. There are different dominoes that’s going to change over these next few weeks. LeBron James is probably the biggest domino that is gonna to drop. Until the league gets ahold of what his aspirations are, Paul George could very well decide I’m staying in Oklahoma City and I’m not even going to wait for what LeBron James is going to do. But that’s gonna be a conversation that’s probably going to need to be had privately among both parties.
“But, listen, Paul George has become really close with Russell Westbrook, and I think that’s a relationship you can’t quantify. That means a lot for the Thunder franchise. They might be bonding better than KD and Russell Westbrook did during Kevin Durant’s free agency. They’re spending a lot of time just doing what friends do, and I think that could go a long way for Oklahoma City as it goes into July 1.”
Of course this is all speculation and nothing will be for certain until free agency begins. The Los Angeles Lakers are known to be major suitors for George and there have also been reports that James and George could decide to team up in Los Angeles.
George himself admitted to enjoying playing alongside James at All-Star Games, and again voiced his love for his hometown.
Ultimately, until a player puts pen to paper, nothing is truly known about the intentions of the league’s top free agents. George will be heavily courted by a number of teams, but the fact that he is so close with Westbrook could play a huge role in his final decision.
As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.