The upcoming free agency is nearly upon us and everyone is eagerly waiting to see where Paul George will end up. Will he sign with his hometown, the Los Angeles Lakers, join the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers or resign with the Oklahoma Thunder?
Many people are speculating that George will sign with the Lakers because he has shown interest in the past about playing for the Lakers. Now that George is going to be a free agent, he can do whatever he desires. Does he still want to play for the Lakers or will he try to make it work with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma?
That all depends on what George wants. If he wants to lead a team to a championship, then he will sign with the Lakers. However, George hasn’t shown leadership qualities so that isn’t reassuring to Lakers fans. George likes to score and play defense but he isn’t a vocal leader nor is he the one that can get the team together to win the game.
The Lakers are young and will need a leader and George won’t help them in that department. If George wants to be the second option, he can remain in Oklahoma and let Westbrook be the heart of the team while he is the veteran scorer and defender. That is a great role for George but it may mean not winning any titles in the future.
Westbrook’s Thunder have only won three games in the playoffs the last two years. They have under-performed in the playoffs and that trend will most likely continue. Teams know how to play Westbrook in the playoffs and he makes it easy for them by taking a myriad of bad shots. If the Thunder couldn’t beat the Utah Jazz with their star-studded roster this year, they won’t be able to beat most of the Western Conference teams four times in a series.
Luckily for George, there is a team in the East that is one piece away from becoming an elite team. The 76ers had a great run this year and showed everyone that they are a legit contender in the East. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons carried the 76ers so far and with the help of George, they can make a run for the NBA Finals. If George wants a path to the NBA Finals, signing with the 76ers will be his best bet.
He will have to go through either LeBron James or the Boston Celtics next year in the playoffs if he does sign with Philly. He hasn’t had much luck against James but with a stacked team, George can finally overcome the hurdle.
After the NBA Finals, the focus will turn to George because he is the most coveted free agent not named Lebron James. My guess is he will sign with the Lakers but anything can happen as we have seen the past couple of free agencies.