In order to try and knock off the Golden State Warrior dynasty, LeBron James is going to do what he can do form a new super team. There have been numerous star players named as potential matches, including Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George.
For over a year, conventional wisdom was that George would head to Los Angeles to be a Laker when he hit free agency. That made the Thunder trade for him last off-season seem a bit risky.
However, even after a bit of a tumultuous season in Oklahoma City, George might stay. A few weeks ago, New York Times NBA insider Marc Stein reported that there is a "growing belief" that he could stay with the Thunder.
That's bad news for LeBron James. George is one of the main stars that he could team with, but obviously not if he is with the Thunder.
According to USA Today's Sam Amick, LeBron James' camp doesn't feel great about Paul George being a teammate option.
That would indicate that players also think he may be sticking with the Thunder.
Even with the Thunder coming just two losses away from missing the playoffs, and then falling to Utah in six games during their first-round matchup, there is all sorts of optimism in Oklahoma City that George will re-sign. Conversely, there’s pessimism in James’ camp that George would leave Oklahoma City. George has raved about the Thunder since the beginning, making it clear to USA TODAY Sports in September that the organization had earned his confidence from the start.
“I haven't even gone through a season yet, and they've already proven everything on my check list (that) I can check off,” George said then. “That's what feels good. That's what makes me feel like, 'Hey, this can be a landing spot for me, and somewhere I can call home for years.”
That really limits the options for James and company. Other reports indicate that the Houston Rockets probably aren't a realistic option for him. Chris Paul could be a free agent if Houston doesn't offer him a max deal, but it is unclear if he is the type of player alone that could help LeBron compete with the Dubs.
Kawhi Leonard is the superstar that appears to be most willing to leave his situation, and the two could team up with in Los Angeles as Lakers, but that is contingent on the San Antonio Spurs being willing to part with their disgruntled superstar for whatever L.A. can offer.