Lakers Rumors: Thunder have strong chance to sign Paul George

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 3: Paul George /

Recent Lakers rumors have been about their strong chances to sign Paul George this offseason. However, Oklahoma City might have a better chance than originally thought.

As we get closer to the start of free agency, there will not be a shortage of Lakers rumors this offseason. With enough cap space to potentially sign two max players, the Lakers are going to have a chance to become a contender in the Western Conference.

One of the players that they will be pursuing is Paul George. Since it became known that George wanted out of Indiana, the Lakers were certainly interested in him. Prior to the 2017 NBA Draft, the Lakers tried to acquire George in a trade, but he was instead sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

With the Thunder, George teamed up with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, forming a trio that was expected to contend in the Western Conference. However, things did not go as planned for the Thunder, as they were eliminated in the first round by the Utah Jazz.

As an upcoming free agent, many have expected that George will be leaving Oklahoma City, with the Lakers being the most likely destination. However, Marc Stein of the New York Times recently reported that the Thunder have a much better chance of signing George than many have thought. Here’s what he had to say.

"There is a growing belief around the league that Oklahoma City has a far better chance to retain the free-agent-to-be Paul George than many believed when the Thunder crashed out of the first round of the playoffs. As George prepares to field the Lakers’ long-anticipated interest, his willingness to post an Instagram picture of himself last month from a hospital bed after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee has helped to fuel the notion in some corners that he’s in no rush to leave OKC."

After being eliminated early from the playoffs, George commented very positively on his first season with the Thunder. Even though they fell short of their goals, George seemed to enjoy his time there and playing with Russell Westbrook.

With the need to have multiple stars on a team to win now, George knows that he has that with Westbrook in Oklahoma City. While the Lakers have an appealing young core, they don’t have a superstar like Westbrook already in place.

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Even though many have written the Thunder off as a contender for George, they could be a more appealing option for him than people think. With free agency right around the corner, we will have to wait and see what happens with George.