Paul George is as efficient as they come at the SF position. His 6’9 height and long wingspan allows him to be a scoring threat anytime he sets foot on the floor. His career averages of nearly 25 PPG and 8 RPG are not to be denied. And his tremendous scoring ability allows him to produce night in and night out regardless of who his opponent is. Although George has not ultimately won a championship ring, it is without a doubt he remains one of the more consistent and potent players in the NBA. He has continually showed his ability to preserve through adversity, evident from his epic knee injury dating from a few years ago. And he still showed up to produce night in and night out despite playing on a below average Indiana squad.
However, this was somewhat of a whirlwind offseason for the small forward from Indiana. After getting swept by the Cavaliers in last year’s playoffs, George would be due for a long and painful offseason with a lot of question marks surrounding the team and the coaching staff. During the offseason George would end up getting traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, as the Pacers decided they didn’t want to lose George next year for nothing.
Now, assuming playing alongside Russell Westbrook won’t work out, (just ask Kevin Durant) Paul George will be a free agent yet again in 2018. With this in mind, here is a list of the top 8 teams George should play for next season and 7 he will NOT.
15. Want to: Washington Wizards
The Wizards would be a good fit for George because of their prime backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal, as well as their strong supporting cast of Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris and several other quality players. Another incentive for George is they certainly have a capable coach in Scott Brooks, former coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder who can indeed coach. Although the Thunder ultimately lost in the 2011 Finals to the Miami Heat, Brooks has shown that he is capable of bringing a championship team back together. The Wizards have also been showing strides of improvement of this past season, nearly taking down the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.
However, perhaps the most important thing one should consider when you trade with another eastern conference foe, is that in the end someone has to stop LeBron James. Wall understands that in order to compete in a very weak division like the East, someone has to take the responsibilities of guarding the King. And that’s what Paul George can bring to the table on a quality team like the Wizards, which is why he should sign with them.
14. Will NOT: Sacramento Kings
The Kings would not be a good fit for Paul George simply because they are a mess. First and foremost, they traded away their best player in DeMarcus Cousins for practically nothing in return. They have failed to make the postseason in countless years. And they just have too many holes to fill where it would simply be pointless for George to go there.
Perhaps the biggest reason why George should not sign with the Kings is because they continue to disappoint their beloved fans of Sacramento, and Patrick Redford certainly voices his opinion on this in his piece written on deadspin.com. In this piece he says, “Since their regular stay in the playoffs ended in 2006, the Kings have fired eight coaches, drafted an endless parade of incompetent shooting guards, run Isaiah Thomas out of town on flimsy pretenses, passed on Kawhi Leonard for Jimmer Fredette and so much more.” The Kings have been a dysfunctional organization for quite some time now, which is why George shouldn’t go there.
13. Want to: San Antonio Spurs
Although it seems clear that Kawhi Leonard is going to be the future for the Spurs, aging players like Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker probably won’t be there, which is why someone like George will eventually need to fill their shoes. George should play for the Spurs next season because they have an absolute sage coach in Gregg Popovich, a very promising combination of Kawhi and Gasol in their starting five, and a very strong supporting cast executed in a great system. The Spurs are great for George because he would play in a great system where he will get opportunities to score, while dividing the responsibilities with Kawhi of guarding LeBron.
The wild card in this deal would be if the Spurs got to keep either Pau Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge. The possibility of acquiring George, while keeping their core intact is something both sides should really consider moving forward.
12. Will NOT: New York Knicks
George should not want to play for the Knicks, plain and simple. Similar to the Sacramento Kings, the Knicks are arguably one of the most dysfunctional organizations in the league. Not only has their horrendous owner Phil Jackson publicly voiced his displeasure about their only star in Carmelo Anthony, but they have also failed to make the playoffs numerous times. It should not be a surprise we see the Knicks here because they are an accident waiting to happen. Although they have some hope for the future in Kristaps Porzingis it seems that they have a long way to go.
James Herbert quoted Jackson’s hurtful words on CBSsports.com saying “We have not been able to win with him on the court at this time, And I think the direction with our team is that he is a player that will be better off somewhere else and using his talent somewhere where he can win or chase that championship. Right now we need players that are really active, can play every single play defensively and offensively. That’s really important for us.” George should not go.
11. Want to: Cleveland Cavaliers
George could go to Cleveland and join forces with LeBron James. People were talking about the possibility of this move before the Thunder landed George. If LeBron stays in Cleveland next year, don’t be surprised if he makes an effort to acquire George. To put it simple, the East is not going to be nearly as competitive as the West for the foreseeable future. And the idea of playing alongside the best player of this generation is something I’m sure George would not refuse.
Plus, he would ultimately help the Cavaliers contend with the Warriors for years to come. Playing alongside LeBron would definitely help them contend with the Warriors, which should be intriguing for George. Of course, this all depends on whether King James stays in Cleveland after this season.
10. Will NOT: Chicago Bulls
With Jimmy Butler now gone and potential signs of Dwyane Wade walking, it would be foolish for George to sign with the Bulls. The Bulls had made strides in contending with Boston in this past years playoffs, but now it seems they have certainly downgraded with the loss of their two all stars, and will continue to do so moving forward.
However, the reason why George should not join the Bulls above all others is that they are simply bad luck. There is always something that can go wrong with this organization. They completely botched the way they handled Tom Thibodeau’s dismissal and they don’t seem like they’re anywhere near contending now. With this in mind, the Bulls make the list here as teams George should avoid.
9. Want to: Toronto Raptors
The Raptors would be an intriguing option for George because as I mentioned before outside of Cleveland and Boston, theres not much competition in the East. He would also get the chance to complement a solid backcourt in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Not to mention Dwane Casey is a good coach with still much to prove in his young career. The Raptors would be a good choice for George because they are a rising team and still have much to prove as they go forward.
Paul George publicly voiced his opinion on Twitter about this possibility several years ago. George was not shy about praising DeRozan and next year, he’d have the chance to join him. There are still some question marks surrounding this team, but the Raptors could be a good destination for George.
8. Will NOT: Dallas Mavericks
Paul George shouldn’t play for the Dallas Mavericks for a variety of reasons. One is because they will eventually lose Dirk Nowitzki, which will limit their efficiency offensively. Another is they have an overpaid average joe in Harrison Barnes. Lastly, they just have too many holes to fix in the organization so it wouldn’t be a good fit for them. The Dallas Mavericks haven’t been able to compete in the Western Conference and even with the addition of a player like George, they still would have a quite sizeable mountain to climb.
There is no denying that Dallas would want a player like George, but to entice George to sign with the team, the Mavericks would have to make several more splashes between now and free agency next year, which doesn’t seem possible.
7. Want to: Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks made a surprising impact in this past year’s NBA playoffs. Despite losing Jabari Parker to a season ending injury, they were able to produce a quality season with a solid postseason effort. With this in mind, Paul George should sign with them for those reasons and more importantly, the Greek Freak. Giannis is a straight up stud. And is only going to get better as time progresses.
Milwaukee generally has not been a place where big name free agents go, but the Bucks have in fact been trying to build a contender. Reports surfaced this summer that the Bucks were in the running in trying to land Kyrie Irving from Cleveland, but simply didn’t have the assets Boston had to complete the deal. However their efforts show they’re ready to take the next step as an organization.
6. Will NOT: Phoenix Suns
George should not play with the Phoenix Suns because of one name, Devin Booker. He is arguably one of the more disliked players in the league, evident by his 70 point outing against Boston. And although he is a great scorer and will only continue to get better at still such a young age, it would still just be too much for this team.
Perhaps the biggest reason he should not join is that they have reportedly found ways to disappoint people, like blame millennials. Yup, that’s right the team owner thinks millennials are at fault for the team’s failures. And DJ Gallo talks about this a little bit more on theguardian.com. “It’s true that Markieff Morris is a millennial. As is LeBron James. And Dwyane Wade. And Tony Parker. And Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Same with Steph Curry, Draymond Green and every single player on the Golden State Warriors roster. Really, almost every player in the NBA is a millennial, save Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan.” George should not play for Phoenix.
5. Want to: Houston Rockets
Although the Rockets have been showing signs of improvement, someone always ends up losing to Golden State, shocking right? This is where Paul George comes into play. If the Rockets got to keep James Harden and Eric Gordon in a deal involving Paul George, they would be set to contend with Golden State. With James Harden running the show, Paul George can just sit back and enjoy his usual scoring output.
If anyone wants to compete with the Warriors, they need to sign George. If the Rockets are able to compete this season with the alliance of Chris Paul and James Harden, adding Paul George would give them a formidable trio and would give them a shot at dethroning Golden State in the west.
4. Will NOT: Orlando Magic
In the past few seasons the Magic have lost quality players like Serge Ibaka, Marcin Gortat and several others. Another thing about the Magic is they would have to give up too much in order to acquire George, making them even more weak in their roster.
Zach Palmer writes on the orlandomagicdaily.com saying “Even more damning is the fact the Magic have only defeated six teams with a record better than .500. The Magic actually own the third worst point differential in the NBA, only the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers are worse.The picture is clear, the Magic are an extremely bad basketball team.”
3. Want to: Los Angeles Lakers
Although I’m sure it wouldn’t be Paul George’s first choice to play with Lonzo Ball, he would have a solid supporting cast in Brandon Ingram and Randall assuming they are able to keep them in a deal. The Lakers would be a good fit for George because they are a rising team in the West. And again even though it doesn’t look the Warriors are leaving anytime soon, the Lakers have been showing feint signs of reaching title contention yet again.
For George, he has voiced before that he wants to play for the Lakers. Not only is it his hometown, but it is also where Kobe Bryant and several other great players he admires. Per SI.com Paul George says “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.”
2. Will NOT: Brooklyn Nets
George should not play with the Nets simply because they are an atrocious basketball team. Theres a reason why teams like Celtics have multiple protected number one picks in upcoming drafts from the Nets as do most teams, it’s because they never fail in producing a disappointing season.
It is no secret that George should not want to play with this team, but it’s important to understand why the Nets are a bad team in doing so. And most of that has to do with their bench play. The Nets are going to be bad for the foreseeable future and there’s no way any player in Brooklyn has a chance to capture a championship. Considering this, George should absolutely not sign with the Nets.
1. Will: Oklahoma City Thunder
While the Lakers are the odds on favorite right now to land Paul George next summer, we feel we should also acknowledge the possibility of George wanting to return to OKC next year. He’ll get a year to play alongside Russell Westbrook and either he’ll fall in love with being the second in command behind Russ, or he’ll decide he doesn’t want to share the spotlight with him and go to his hometown. A lot of this depends on how Westbrook and George gel as teammates, but as of right now, we’ll lean towards the possibility of George being torn whether to stick around with the Thunder, or follow through on his plan and head home to L.A. We’ll have to see come next summer.
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