Paul George kindly informed the Indiana Pacers this offseason that he had no intentions of re-signing with the team when he hit free agency in 2018, prompting a trade to send him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis the night before the start of the free agency period.
By most accounts, George is hell-bent on heading to the west coast when he becomes a free agent, leading most to speculate that the Lakers, his hometown team, might be the team to benefit from such a move. But if Warriors owner Joe Lacob has anything to do with it, the All-Star forward could wind up in the Bay Area playing for the reigning NBA champion Warriors.
Here's what Tim Kawakami of The Athletic said about a potential Warriors pursuit of George in a recent podcast discussion with Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.
Marcus and I have teased this for more than a year. We think they're going to go after Paul George somehow. I think Joe Lacob is going to try to find a way to get Paul George. I don't know how that would happen, but I didn't know how it was going to happen three years ago when they said they were go after Durant. Well, they didn't say it. But they might have whispered it.
Kawakami notes that despite the extremely bright outlook for the Warriors in the short-term, any chance for Lacob to grab younger talent like George, a 27-year-old in the prime of his career, they'll make that move and "try anything" without disrupting the chemistry of one of the greatest NBA rosters ever assembled.
One scenario in a pursuit for the Warriors would obviously be to wait out his free agency and make a pitch for him in the summer of 2018. But another, potentially more promising avenue, would be to try and work a deal with the Thunder before the trade deadline to send George to Golden State, potentially sending back assets that could make the money work for the Warriors to absorb his near $20 million salary, and making it worth the Thunder's while to take the four-time All-Star off their hands before potentially losing him for nothing in free agency.