The Los Angeles Lakers are considered to be the favorite to sign LeBron James in free agency this summer. The sportsbooks have L.A. as the clear favorite and multiple insiders are reporting that the Lakers are the most-likely destination, too.
However, a “big blow” could be coming to Los Angeles’ chances of signing James. Unsurprisingly, this has to do with Paul George.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly growing increasingly optimistic about their chances to re-sign the All-Star guard. This wouldn’t prevent James from going to the Lakers, but it would probably decrease the chances at least a little bit.
USA TODAY’s Sam Amick has the details.
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.
But if George does indeed stay, that would be widely considered a big blow to the Lakers’ chances of landing James.
Of course, it’s still possible that the Lakers get both James and George. But it also seems possible that they could end up with neither of those guys, and that would be a pretty massive blow to Los Angeles’ future plans.
NBA free agency is set to begin exactly one week from today. It starts on July 1.