Paul George isn’t the biggest name on a free agent market that includes LeBron James and Kevin Durant (well, sort of) but the talented forward is a significant factor in what should be an insane NBA offseason. On the heels of an ugly end to the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder in his first season with the organization, many believed that George was likely on his way out the door in favor of greener pastures. In fact, betting odds dictated early in the process that the Lakers were significant favorites to land his services, with the incumbent Thunder lagging significantly behind.
However, Marc Stein of the New York Times (as part of his newsletter) indicated on Tuesday that it may be time to pump the brakes with regard to the assumption that George won’t be returning to play with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City.
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.