The February trade deadline is just over a month away, so teams around the league are positioning themselves to shed albatross contracts, collective future assets, and/or position themselves for a post-season run. It’s a time of great existential anxiety for teams on the cusp that face the dilemma of whether to stand pat or make a bold move that might pay off or come back to bite them.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, for instance, are a team that has been riding the hairy edge all season long. Paul George will enter free agency next season, and he’s been vocal in the past about his dream to eventually play for his hometown Lakers. He’s softened his stance on the subject recently, however, saying that it’d be foolish of him to leave a good situation in OKC if believes the team is on the up and up.
That’s a big if, of course, given the team’s early season struggles, combined with the prospect of potentially losing George for nothing next summer. Some have posited that the Thunder should cut their losses and try to trade George before the deadline if they haven’t seen significant improvement, but the organization is reportedly planning on keeping him for the rest of the season and hedging their bets that a successful postseason will convince him to make a long-term commitment.