Since last year there has been countless speculation of Paul George’s interest with the Lakers and the speculation will continue until the very moment he’s off the market. Whether that’s with the Lakers, Thunder, or some other team, fans and media alike will continue to speculate.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that aired before the Lakers-Thunder matchup on Super Bowl Sunday, Paul George opened up about the rumors:
I obviously would’ve loved to have gone home. That was ideal when it was that time. But now being here, playing alongside Russ, playing alongside Melo, I’ve built a real brotherhood with these guys. If we’re here right now, where can we be next year, and where can we be the year after that.
That bit right there basically confirms that the rumors last year were true. He wanted to be traded to the Lakers and go home, but now that he’s playing with the Thunder with talented teammates he feels comfortable. But then he ends the interview with this last bit:
Of course, LA is home, that’ll always draw the attention. We’ll see, I won’t rule anything out
Now, we don’t know if he’s talking about his attention or attention from the media, but it seems clear he’s undecided and open to anything. He might decide to stick with the Thunder’s core, but the Lakers certainly have a chance.
Free agency this year will be big for the Lakers. A big reason for the D’Angelo Russell trade was to open up cap space for one of Paul George or LeBron and possibly more moves will be made to accommodate both. It’s hard to guarantee that a star leaves their team from public statements alone as they can’t directly say they’re leaving in FA, but we can continue to speculate.