The Los Angeles Lakers are the center of 2018 NBA Free Agency because apparently everyone and their mothers want to play there for whatever reason. LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are all trying to sneak their way onto this roster and Magic Johnson is ready to get rid of any player on his current roster to make room for those stars.
But it’s not as simple as just signing three great players. There is money and egos and trades that must be factored in. LeBron won’t go there unless another star comes with him. Kawhi has another year left in San Antonio and the Spurs aren’t trying to give him away for free but that’s not the real problem.
The problem is Paul George.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George has informed franchise officials that he will not be opting in for the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN.
Paul George is opting out in Oklahoma City making him an unrestricted free agent. For the last two years, he’s made it abundantly clear that he plans on signing with the Lakers. It’s the reason why the Indiana Pacers traded him to the Thunder in the first place. It’s been Los Angeles or bust for this guy.
That was totally cool or whatever a year ago before Kawhi Leonard became available and before LeBron James’s son was enrolled in a Los Angeles high school. When Paul George was beating his chest about LA, he thought he was the star going there and now he’s the third option. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
He might sign on the dotted line the second the clock strikes midnight just out of spite for these other guys. Once he signs, there goes max contract money for LeBron and Kawhi.
And Magic Johnson and the Lakers are dumb enough to sign George first because the pressure is on. From the moment Magic got there, he guaranteed he’d be bringing stars with him and his biggest signing thus far was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope last year. He averaged 13 points a game and he’s gone now. Sick, Magic[1. Pun?].
If Paul George wants to sign at midnight, Magic is going to jump at that chance because he needs the W. He can’t wait for the Spurs to settle for a Brandon Ingram trade or LeBron to make some grand announcement on the 4th of July.
But here’s why that’s a problem, LeBron James isn’t running to Los Angeles to play with George. There seems to be some weird perception that James and George have some sort of relationship. Where is this coming from?
LeBron spent a majority of his prime destroying George’s Pacers teams in the playoffs. Why would LeBron suddenly be in a hurry to play with some bum he dominated for half a decade? When James went back to Cleveland he made them trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love because he wanted to play with an established All-Star.
Kevin Love was scoring 20 points and grabbing 20 rebounds a game. He was collecting Hall of Fame numbers in Minnesota and he played in the Western Conference so although LeBron had no prior relationship with Love, he could look at any boxscore and see that Love was a beast.
LeBron isn’t looking at the box scores at some beast in the Western Conference. He’s looking at Paul George, who he dunked on year after year. The Pacers were the Toronto Raptors of their day in that they were LeBron’s punching bag before he walked into the Finals.
So again, why would he want to rush and play with George? That would be the equivalent of saying ‘LeBron will only go to Los Angeles if they sign DeMar DeRozan first’. Nah, b. Those are losers in his eyes.
If Paul George signs first then LeBron will for sure view Los Angeles as less than. Do you truly believe he’s running to LA to go play with Paul George and Kyle Kuzma? He’d probably prefer the comfort of a situation he already recognizes in Cleveland.
Plus Cleveland drafting Collin Sexton wasn’t just to help their future. They knew that the Charlotte Hornets were interested in Sexton and now he’s a trade chip for Kemba Walker. Would LeBron rather stay in the Eastern Conference and keep his Finals streak going by playing alongside Kevin Love and Kemba Walker or would he rather battle for the 8th seed with ‘Playoff P’ and Lavar’s son?
Paul George is ruining free agency.
Now let’s look at Kawhi Leonard. If George signs first then he makes trade negotiations even harder because now the Lakers can’t just trade their young stars and absorb Kawhi’s contract. Now they have to match contracts to fit inside their cap space.
That means they have to try to stuff Luol Deng into this deal and no one on planet Earth wants Deng, who makes $18 million this season AND NEXT SEASON. What a stinky contract.
Luol Deng was one of my favorite players back in Chicago but Tom Thibodeau murdered him by playing him like, 70 minutes a night every night. He played so many minutes that he needed a SPINAL TAP after a playoff game. He had the flu in Game 6 and Thibodeau was like ‘lol’. A spinal tap, man. Then his body fell apart to the point where he literally cannot play anymore.
The last thing the San Antonio Spurs need during what could be a full rebuild is a $36 million anchor dying at the end of their bench. Paul George signing first would almost destroy trade talks between LA and San Antonio, especially considering that Greg Popovich hates Los Angeles and is in no hurry to help them build their super team.
Paul George could transform what could potentially become of the funnest offseasons into one of the most boring ones when his Lakers signing leads to everyone else staying exactly where they are. Can’t wait to see George and Josh Hart give and go while they’re losing by 4,395 points to the Houston Rockets
Please do something wild and like, sign with the Utah Jazz or something. Please.
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