Stephen A. Smith: Chris Paul saying LeBron James “wants to be in LA”

Jun 8, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) react in game four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft later this week and free agency close behind it, it’s no surprise that news is starting to leak out from all different camps involved in this offseason. However, the news that appears to be coming from the Chris Paul camp doesn’t seem to involve Paul’s intentions. According to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, Chris Paul has been telling people that LeBron James has no interest in joining the Houston Rockets and instead has his eyes set on Los Angeles.

According to my sources, several things are happening. Chris Paul is telling folks, LeBron ain’t trying to come to Houston. He wants to be in LA. These are things I’m getting through the grapevine. Chris Paul is saying LeBron wants to be in LA.

This is Stephen A. Smith, so take it with a massive grain of salt, but he has been weirdly connected to LeBron’s camp in the past, even going as far as predicting his time in Miami and coming back to Cleveland. If it’s true, then this is great news for Lakers fans. Chris Paul and LeBron are close to each other, and it’s reasonable to assume that Chris knows something about LeBron’s future plans.

Additionally, Smith has heard that people in LA aren’t positive that Paul George will end up in LA. It appears money and also his relationship with superstar point guard Russell Westbrook are factors in whether or not PG13 stays in Oklahoma City.

Folks are not sure Paul George is coming to LA. From what I’m being told, Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder are gonna back up the Brinks truck for Paul George. They’re going to offer him the max. Because they’re going to offer him the max, combined with the fact that Russell Westbrook shows him a lot of love and they seem to get along pretty well and they’ve got a future together, Paul George is a sentimental type. And as a result, it’s going to be hard to pull away from that and that relationship with Russell Westbrook.

Here’s the problem: the wife would rather be in LA. Paul George’s parents, from what I’m told, would rather him be in LA. So the family pressure is pushing him towards LA. Peer pressure is keeping him in OKC. And that combined with the money, because he stands to make so much more money by staying in OKC, rather than going to LA, it can be problematic for Magic Johnson.

The Paul George comments are interesting and fall in line with what George himself has said on numerous occasions. However, it seems that LeBron’s future in LA is not dependent on Paul George joining the team.

LeBron could decide to come to LA. Or he could wait to see what LA is going to get to bring to LA with him, what Magic Johnson and the Lakers are going to get to bring with him. If LeBron comes first, then that’s one thing. If he wants to wait, then getting Paul George is more important. Because that ultimately might influence luring LeBron even though that’s not what I’m hearing it will take.

Free agency this year is going to be a particularly crazy one, especially for Lakers fans. While free agency in 2016 was crazy for different reasons, it seems that the Lakers have finally found the stars that they’ve coveted for the past few years. Money is still an issue, and we may see some of our favorite players on the team moved in salary dumps or have their rights renounced by the team. Right now, we as fans just have to trust that the front office is going to do the right thing to help the team win again.

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