The year-long rollercoaster that has been Paul George’s impending free agency looks to have taken another turn. With still over a month and a half left until free agency begins, it seems as if the superstar forward could possibly return to Oklahoma City after all.
There have been reports of various magnitudes that have linked George, a California native, to his hometown team and with the Thunder’s season coming to a disappointing end in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Lakers are in a prime spot to sign George come early July. However, there is now a belief that the forward may re-sign in Oklahoma City.
In an interview on Mason and Ireland, ESPN’s Chris Haynes has talked to someone close with George that offers some insight on the situation.
Now, the phrase “wouldn’t be surprised” isn’t all that concrete but it certainly seems like George is leaving the door open for a possible return to the Thunder.
George has a player option that he is likely to turn down in order to receive a full maximum contract. The Lakers are armed with plenty of cap space and will assuredly offer the 28-year old a maximum contract.
With the hometown ties and Magic Johnson leading the push for George’s services, Haynes also sees a scenario that he ends up a Laker.
When the team made the switch to Johnson and Rob Pelinka in the front office, much of it was due to the confidence that they would be able to lure a star player to sign with the team. Johnson has expressed his confidence in their ability to do just that plenty of times so him being the one to pitch to George on coming home might be enough for things to work in the Lakers favor.
Ultimately, we won’t know for sure what George will do until early July. One thing is certain though, leading up to then there will be reports of him leaning thousands of different ways and we will keep writing about them because we are apparently in a never-ending time loop.