Paul George to the Lakers This Summer or with DeMarcus Cousins Next Summer?

Paul George told the Indiana Pacers’ organization that he plans to become a free agent next summer and leave the franchise.  George would prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, as reported by ABC News early Monday.  This news steals the Pacers’ bargaining chips if they decide to deal George this year.  Think about it.  What NBA franchise would pay a star player’s salary for one year, knowing that he wants to go somewhere else in 2018?  Maybe a team can entice him?  Well, his camp has made it clear to the teams around the NBA that George will sign with the Lakers next summer, regardless of where he lands this summer.  Team George is pulling out all the tricks, even at the expense of his own current franchise, the Indiana Pacers

Since Los Angeles Lakers‘ trade earlier this week, they are sitting pretty with three first-round draft picks, one being the number two overall pick.  At this point, the Lakers are by no means under pressure with signing Paul George since they can sign him next summer.  L.A.’s focus come draft time, should be their selections and moves to fit their fast-paced Luke Walton offense.  If the the chips all fall favorably, the Lakers should be able to acquire George eventually, pick up UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, and find defensive minded, three-point-shooting role players.

Assuming Paul George will follow through with his desire to play for the Lakers and the Lakers want to sign the Small Forward, how might this influence DeMarcus Cousins’ decision when Cousins becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer?

DeMarcus will have few clear choices.  Unless Kevin Love has a slump year, the Cleveland Cavaliers have their big man.  Between Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee, the Golden State Warriors have their Centers in place to continue their dynasty.

My bold predictions:

The Los Angeles Lakers will draft Lonzo Ball.  They will also deal either, two of their late first rounders, or deal one of their first rounders plus a player like Julius Randle, and another pick next season, to Indiana on draft day for Paul George.  Indiana will take what they can get now with little to bargain with.  Since Wilt Chamberlain already had number 13 retired with the Lakers, George will wear number 24.  Kobe Bryant‘s number?  Think about it.  Kobe had three championships wearing number 8 and two wearing number 24.

LeBron James has been the bad guy before and will remain in Cleveland to avoid repeating the historic narrative of ditching his hometown.

DeMarcus Cousins’ potential landing spot will likely depend on the off-season moves of the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Trailblazers.  Contingent on whether the Lakers make the playoffs next season, DeMarcus Cousins could join the purple and gold next summer.  The Sacramento Kings’ Center will be 27 then.

Brice Villaflor

Brice Villaflor

Writer at Electric Beach
Athletics, music, and faith-based experiences are Brice's biggest passions in life. Living in the Mojave Desert, his journey continues in marriage, fatherhood, and life.
Brice Villaflor