Paul George has made it crystal clear that he will opt out of his contract with the Pacers in 2018, and will not be re-signing. In addition, George didn’t hold back from expressing his desire to play in Los Angeles for the Lakers.
This is great news for the Lakers, isn’t it? The Lakers have been struggling immensely ever since Kobe Bryant’s injuries and retirement in 2016.
Although the Lakers may think that they can sit back and wait until Paul George opts out of his contract in 2018, this might not be the case. The Lakers can’t be too patient. They must trade for Paul George immediately.
1) Cleveland is heavily rumored to be involved in trade talks for Paul George. With the Cavs’ struggles in the NBA Finals, specifically on the defensive end, bringing in a two-way star to help Lebron James and the Cavs chase the Warriors for another title is exactly what the Cavs need to do this offseason. Not only that, but there are rumors that James may leave the Cavs when his contract ends in 2018. Bringing in Paul George might keep LeBron from departing. Golden State has an incredible offensive arsenal led by Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. Furthermore, the Warriors have one of the best defenses in the league. The Cavs need to find a way to match-up and compete with the Warriors on both sides of the floor, and having a star on both sides of the floor alongside Lebron and Kyrie can be really scary.
2) The Pacers know that they have no chance at re-signing Paul George when he opts out of his contract in 2018. Therefore, the Pacers are willing to trade Paul George and receive something solid that they can work with in return, instead of keeping him for the 2017-2018 season and having nobody to work with when the season is over. Teams such as the L.A. Clippers, Wasington Wizards, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trail Blazers have a lot that the Pacers can try and trade for.
3) The Boston Celtics are set up to recruit a max-level free agent, and signing Paul George is the way to go. It’s highly likely that if no teams trade for Paul George this offseason and wait until he opts out of his contract in 2018, the Lakers will sign him to their squad. However, the Celtics may have a chance to convince Paul George to join their team. Boston finished first in the Eastern Conference this season with 53 wins, and their hopes were extremely high to take out the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Even though the Celtics looked far behind the Cavs, losing 4-1 in the series, the Celtics are two steps away from having a great shot at potentially taking out the Cavs. Step one: draft Josh Jackson at pick 3 on Thursday night. Step 2: Sign Paul George in 2018. Moreover, Paul George has kept on saying that he is sick and tired of losing to the King. Well, we’ve got some good advice for you George. Sign with the Celtics!
With the 2nd pick in NBA Draft, the Lakers will most likely draft PG Lonzo Ball. With that being said, D’Angelo Russell, a role player, and a late first-round draft pick is what the Lakers should be looking to trade in return for Paul George. The Lakers better act fast before it’s too late to own a true star that they’ve been missing since Kobe Bryant.