We are a week away from what figures to be the most exciting free agency period in years. You have star free agents that may exercise their rights to player mobility while another superstar may be moved via trade. The makings are there for an exciting free agency to the casual fan and a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The franchise is linked with three of the NBA’s biggest stars/superstars: LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. James and George via free agency and Leonard through trade. All three are players the team would take in a heartbeat, but there is one from the trio that takes priority over the other two.
And that is Paul George. If you were to rank the three in terms of pure talent and production, most rankings would be James, Leonard, and George. So while George may be the worst of the three, he is the most valuable this summer because his domino to fall will have the most substantial effect on the rest of the Lakers’ plans.
Let it be known that George is still undecided.
“He keeps going back and forth of what he wants to do.”
– @stephenasmith on Paul George
— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) June 23, 2018
Unless this is all a smokescreen, this should be concerning to Los Angeles because it was not too long ago that he was a virtual lock to come home and don the purple and gold. But now at least half the signs point to him staying in Oklahoma City, and the Lakers cannot afford that because it may potentially blow up their free agency plans.
The Spurs prefer not to trade Leonard to the Lakers, so Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka will have to go all-out to get George to sign with them. This is the only way the Lakers can get LeBron James to come because the current best player in the world will not come alone. He will need someone else to join him.
If George decides against leaving OKC, the Lakers will have just a bunch of young and developing players as their selling point to James, which will not get it done. And then you can mark another unproductive free agency period off the board.
But if George does decide to come, it will make it more attractive for James because:
a. Los Angeles will have another All-Star there
b. Los Angeles may be more inclined to sell the farm for Kawhi Leonard giving the potential for a superteam
You do not have to be the best or most talented to be the most valuable. Just take a look at Steph Curry and Kevin Durant on the Warriors. Durant is the better player, but Curry is much more valuable. Leonard and James are better than George, but PG13 will have the most influence on how the 2018 summer pans out.