Paul George wanted to sign with Lakers … then the Pacers traded him

Ruben Hill
October 19, 2018

While speaking to ESPN's The Undefeated , the star forward and California native revealed he would have wound up in Los Angeles had the Pacers not traded him to the Thunder previous year. At the time, the trade was seen as a panic move, with IN trying to recoup assets before George could leave IN free agency.

In an interview with ESPN's The Undefeated, George admits that he always wanted to play for the Lakers, but after spending the year with the Thunder chose to stay and signed a four-year, $137 million contract extension during the free agency period. He later said the Lakers were "pissed" at him for not taking a meeting with them. George, however, quietly made a decision to re-sign with the Thunder before free agency arrived and never met with the Lakers. The Lakers would go on to sign National Basketball Association star LeBron James as a free agent. George also told The Undefeated that he spoke with James about his possible future plans before the Thunder trade when James was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they never had a similar conversation afterward.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether Ingram or Ball ever become a player of George's caliber, and we know teaming George with James would be an awfully good first step toward a competitive roster. Last [season], I didn't get a chance to start with this team fresh. I got traded late.

George returns to Los Angeles for the first time since deciding to re-sign with Oklahoma City to play the LA Clippers on Friday.

George and the Thunder dropped their season opener to the Golden State Warriors, but Westbrook didn't play as he continues to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee. He credits Thunder general manager Sam Presti for having the guts to make the trade for him, despite no assurances he would stay in Oklahoma City.

George, however, has stated how happy he is to play alongside Westbrook and believes this season will be a lot different for the Thunder.

"It was a hell of a gamble".

The fan says that, after the team's win over the Grizzlies, the Pacers "don't miss" George and that the team doesn't "need" Stephenson, which prompted a response from P.G.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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