Photo Credit: CLNS Media
Paul George, in my opinion, made the safe and smart decision this past summer by staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Thunder do great, it will be because he stayed. If they do bad, most people will turn their attention to Russell Westbrook’s ability to be the #1 option on a team. George also made a boatload of money. He is having a career year in just about every statistical category. He has had multiple 40 point bombs, averaging 26.6 points per game, and his team resides at 3rd place in the crowded West. It is too early to judge this decision for his overall career, but things are moving in his favor right now.
The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling with the absence of LeBron James and some other key role players. Before the injuries started piling, the Lakers looked pretty competitive and were exceeding expectations. I am not saying the Lakers are at a world’s end by missing on George, but the man didn’t even take a meeting with them after he had been talking about going to LA for years. Here are what some of the consequences may look like if the dominos fall the wrong way.
The Anti LeBron Issue: I don’t know why everyone keeps circling rumors that all these players don’t want to play with LeBron. I don’t necessarily buy it, but I can understand it. Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Paul George have all been mentioned around this topic and it makes sense from a legacy standpoint. Why would you go be LeBron’s Robin if you believe you can win on your own. It is as simple as that. Kawhi already beat him in the Finals, racking up a Finals MVP. Why would he bow down to him now? Kawhi also has the element of age on his side vs Lebron, as do many other stars in the NBA. With Paul George becoming the second player to allegedly make a decision based on LeBron (Kyrie being the first), could this become a trend?
Injuries: If Paul George was on this Lakers team right now, they would probably be viewed as a contender. Especially if he would have played the way he is right now for the Thunder. The Lakers are a thin roster and don’t have many volume shooters. This is becoming more evident with the injuries. If they bear too many injuries, it could halt their playoff run or even force them to miss the playoffs. Obviously, throughout LeBron’s contract with the Lakers, this team will age and add more pieces. However, it begs the question of how many more years can LeBron carry teams like he has for so long.
The Anthony Davis Trade: Wow. Paul George, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James on one team. How amazing and unbeatable so many Lakers fans thought. Well… it didn’t happen. It would be one thing if George came and they pulled the plug on a load of the young guys for Davis. Then they would have their big 3. Since George didn’t come, the trade for Davis could be risky. If things don’t work out, (which I am sure they will between Davis and LeBron) they could run into issues there. Davis has an injury history. If he or LeBron went down, their roster would be extremely barren due to the trade. All their young guys and potential draft capital would presumably be gone. It’s a different story if they pick up the third star this summer, but many scenarios could go wrong for the Lakers. This is all due to Paul George’s decision to resign with the Thunder.