Paul George, now on the Oklahoma City Thunder, recently addressed rumors about playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the near future.
First, he spoke with Lee Jenkins about staying with Russell Westbrook on the Thunder (via Sports Illustrated):
“For me, it’s all about winning. I want to be in a good system, a good team. I want a shot to win it. I’m not a stats guy. I’m playing this game to win and build a legacy of winning. I’ve yet to do that. I’m searching for it. If we get a killer season in Oklahoma, we make the conference finals or upset the Warriors or do something crazy, I’d be dumb to want to leave that.”
George said he grew up a Lakers fan and idolized Kobe Bryant but also said his interest in returning home is overstated.
While his answer may be because he’s now playing for Oklahoma City, the former Pacers superstar also had some interesting comments about playing for Los Angeles:
“It’s too early for L.A., it would have to be a situation where the ball gets rolling and guys are hopping on. This guy commits, that guy commits. ‘Oh s—, now there’s a team forming.’ It has to be like that. I’m in OKC, so hopefully, me and Russ do a good enough job and make it to the conference finals and love the situation, why not recruit someone to come build it with us? I’m open in this whole process.”
The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets earlier this offseason.
With some creative cap maneuvering, the Lakers could stretch the contract of Luol Deng and have $64 million in cap space after next season. This would be enough for two max deals, likely George and LeBron James.