The NBA world was shocked when the Indiana Pacers finally decided to part ways with All-Star forward Paul George in exchange for pretty much spare parts like Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo after a really long soap opera regarding the future of the talented wingman.
George didn’t hesitate to show his desire to leave the Pacers as he felt his talent was going to waste on a team that have failed to build around him and contends in the weaker Eastern Conference, but it really feels like the Pacers could’ve gotten a lot much more in exchange for his services.
So, George is set to enter this season playing alongside the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, trying to be the missing piece the Oklahoma City Thunder needs to get a major boost in the Western Conference and make yet another trip to the NBA Finals.
Nonetheless, there’s absolutely no guarantee that Paul George will actually stay put at Oklahoma beyond this season, as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. So, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 most likely destinations for the PG-13.
5. Golden State Warriors
Several reports state that the Golden State Warriors are actually quite interested in acquiring the services of one of the most skilled and versatile offensive players in the league, and they would definitely be even more overpowered than they are at this point.
Nevertheless, there would be serious salary issues to make this move work, so George would have to sacrifice a lot of cash while they Warriors would also need to move several players in order to sign him.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly in the mix to trade for All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, but with the Houston Rockets also emerging as a potential destination for Melo, they might as well try to do everything they can to lure George instead.
Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and Paul George will definitely represent a huge threat in the Eastern Conference, and this deal would really make sense for both parties given the opportunity.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are very likely to lose LeBron James in this upcoming free agency and with the Los Angeles Lakers quickly and aggressively emerging as frontrunners to pursue King James, the Cavs would be really smart to try and make George their franchise player for the future.
Cleveland’s support cast is extremely capable of carrying this squad to the playoffs, and if they manage to keep Isaiah Thomas and Kevin Love on board, this new big 3 in the East will definitely represent a challenge for the Boston Celtics.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
If Paul George and Russell Westbrook develop the chemistry everybody expects, they could become one of the new superteams in the Association, and even though they still need a bit of a supporting cast and more depth to compete, they’re already looking quite scary.
Of course, in order to actually convince George to stay put with the team and not walk away for free after a one-year rental, the Thunder would have to at least reach the Western Conference Finals this upcoming campaign.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
And last but not least, we get George’s most likely destination: The Los Angeles Lakers. PG-13 grew up as a diehard Lakers Fan and he completely idolized Kobe Bryant and dreamt of carrying his torch after his retirement.
In fact, the Lakers were under investigation for tampering as they reportedly reached out to George on a potential signing, and with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram growing as some of the best young players in the league, George would be really tempted to become the Lakers new longterm face of the franchise.