Are The Warriors Planning To Bring In Paul George?

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Are The Warriors Planning To Bring In Paul George?

 

As you know, Paul George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

The Indiana Pacers were forced to trade Paul George. George did not make any All-NBA Teams, and therefore wasn’t able to sign the designated player contract possibly worth $210 million, meaning that he will become a free agent in 2018 (players can receive a starting salary of 35% of the salary cap with just eight or nine years of experience, up from the usual 30% for players in the league that long. To qualify, a player must meet one of three criteria; Win MVP in any of the three seasons before signing; Win Defensive Player of the Year the season before signing or both of two seasons before that; Make an All-NBA team the season before signing or both of two seasons before that).

But reportedly, even with the move to Oklahoma, George’s plan to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 did not change.

Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times wrote:

 

“According to people not authorized to speak publicly, George, a Palmdale native, is still telling friends that he intends to be a Laker in 2018”

 

George’s plan is to head to the west coast when he becomes a free agent next summer. But, does ‘heading to the west coast’ necessarily mean Los Angeles?

In a in a podcast with Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps, The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami talked about the Golden State Warriors’s plan to potentially pursue Paul George.

 

“Marcus and I have teased this for more than a year. We think they’re going to go after Paul George somehow. I think Joe Lacob is going to try to find a way to get Paul George. I don’t know how that would happen, but I didn’t know how it was going to happen three years ago when they said they were go after Durant. Well, they didn’t say it. But they might have whispered it.”

 

The Warriors could either wait for Paul George’s free agency next year, or they could work out a deal with OKC before this season’s trade dedline. If the Thunder don’t feel like they’re contending, they might be in for a trade, instead of losing George for nothing in free agency. The Warriors though would have to include valuable assets, not only to get George, but also to makes some space for his $20 million salary.

This isn’t the first time that the Warriors try to possibly land Paul George. According to George himself (at a Woj podcast), he thought there was a chance that he could have ended up with the Golden State Warriors via trade during this offseason.

In either way, the Thunder will now get one year (or even less) to convince George to not go to the west coast and stay with the team. The Lakers were reluctant to trade important assets for a player who would likely sign with them anyway. That’s the risk the Lakers were willing to take in order to keep both of their lottery picks, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, from this and last year. Maybe they overplayed their hand and the Warriors will steal the pot.

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