The Oklahoma City Thunder made a huge splash in the trade market this past summer, acquiring disgruntled forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. It seemed to be a risky transaction at the time, as it looked as if the former Fresno State star was a lock to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, especially after the franchise was fined for tampering with George while he was still under contract with the Pacers.
However, being traded to a contending team in the NBA can change some plans around, and according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, George has yet to make a decision on his looming free agency:
“It’s funny but at the end of the day I know where my decision lands, or what my decision is, and that’s all that matters. I know what I feel is best, but it’s a long ways until the end of the season.”
George has pointed to teammate Russell Westbrook as a big factor in his decision, and has shown appreciation for the reigning MVP’s character and the love he shows toward teammates, specifically when Westbrook made it known that George not being voted into this year’s All-Star Game was ‘outrageous’, per Royce Young of ESPN.com:
“Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make, is the character Russ [has]. A stand-up guy, and he has his teammate’s back.”
George will obviously have a huge decision to make, as this summer’s free agency period is rapidly approaching, and the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t hidden their aspirations of adding the three-time All-Star to their roster. George, who grew up in LA, obviously has some ties to the city. However, the Thunder, who are in the midst of what has overall been a successful campaign, will make the decision all the more difficult.