Paul George Traded to OKC: What It Means For The Lakers

Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George is headed to Oklahoma City after being traded for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

IMG_2503[537]

After many rumors of different teams getting involved in the Paul George sweepstakes (Cleveland, Boston, LA, Washington), the Oklahoma City Thunder swooped in and flipped an atrocious Oladipo contract all by just including a young prospect in Sabonis in his rookie deal.

And they did so without giving up any draft picks!

What does this mean for the Lakers though? It means we’re still very much in the running for George next summer. Now some might argue, “why would he leave a contender in OKC for a rebuilding team in the Lakers?”.

Without a doubt, the Thunder are a playoff team. But in a stacked western conference, is anyone, outside of Thunder fans, really picking them to come out of the west? Last time I checked, Russell Westbrook was once paired with superstar small forward, and it didn’t exactly turn into a championship. Plus, the Warriors and the Spurs still play on the same conference, so while it’s still possible, it’s unlikely George commits long term with the Thunder when multiple reports have indicated that he will only sign an extension if the team a) wins a title or b) is the Lakers.

Westbrook, a superstar talent himself and current reigning league MVP, could very well convince George to stay in Oklahoma City. But the same could be said about George, who also has one full year to convince Westbrook of joining him to come back to their hometown: LA.

With Chris Paul joining the Rockets with James Harden, Jimmy Butler joining the young core of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and now George teaming up with Westbrook, the almighty west just got a whole lot better. With the All Star Game set to be played in LA, and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss openly saying that she wants an all star to represent her team, it’s doubtful that an all star is selected from the Lakers current roster.

Overall, this trade has the whole league shook, and probably set off a domino effect that will continue to fall through summer ’18 and beyond.

Rumor: Paul George Recruiting Klay Thompson to the Lakers?

The rumor mill has us constantly refreshing our Twitter timelines in hopes of getting hit with Woj bomb to satisfy our NBA needs. NBA Twitter has gone spinning once again as rumors of Lakers recruitment have surfaced, this time involving two hometown talents.

IMG_0132-640x501

Former NBA player and radio show host Keleena Azubuike of 95.7 The Game got the scoop, saying that George has reached out to Thompson and has declared his interest in playing together for the purple and gold.

First of, I would be extremely happy if even one of those players end up with the Lakers. But both of them playing with the young core that we have now would catapult the Lakers into playoff contention. The chances of this pairing happening though, may not be as high as some Lakers fans think.

While the ties to Southern California are there, if you were Thompson, you’d be hard pressed to leave such a good situation on Golden State. Winning championships is the ultimate goal, and in a system like the Warriors where everyone gets fair share of the ball and everyone gets to have their moments, it will be tough to pass out on a winning environment in a current LA team that’s still unproven. Mychal Thompson said as much on his radio show “Thompson and Trudell” for ESPN radio, as well as ESPN insider Ramona Shelburne about the potential George-Thompson pairing in LA.

George recruiting Thompson may not necessarily mean they’re aiming to play together this season, or even next as Klay isn’t a free agent until 2019. And as of today, George is still an Indiana Pacer, and until a trade happens, he will likely still be a Pacer on opening night.

That’s not to say that it isn’t possible. With a stacked roster like the Warriors, keeping a core of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson would require A LOT of dollars to keep all of them happy. Even perennial 6th man of the year candidate Andre Iguodala might prove to be a difficult talent to keep, as a number of teams have expressed interest in the veteran forward’s services, even if it’s mixed with a few ulterior motives.

But maybe that team from the Bay is more than just about money. If they continue winning in such dominant fashion as they have and win a few more rings to show for it, maybe everyone will be happy. The culture they’ve built is not something to overlook, because as of right now, anyone who wants to win and have fun while winning would willingly take a pay cut to be a Warrior (see: Zaza Pachulia/David West).

All I’m saying is, anything’s possible. As the summer continues to roll along, all of the smoke would eventually clear, and whatever was real in all these rumors would inevitably show itself, all in due time.

This is going to be one hell of an Offseason.