After forming a Big 3 with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. Now, all the attention is on George’s upcoming free agency as he has been linked with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Following the Game 6 loss in Utah, the 27-year-old felt it was too soon to think about his future with Oklahoma City. However, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman , George had the ultimate compliment for one of his teammates:
Paul George on Russ: "He's one of the best teammates I've had by far. I've learned a lot from him."
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) April 28, 2018
Although Westbrook has developed a certain reputation, it appears George enjoyed his first season playing alongside one of the best players in the league. As a result, Westbrook will likely have a major impact on his teammate’s upcoming free agency decision.
Following an early playoff exit in their first season together, it remains to be seen what this ultimately means. Throughout the season, George was linked with his hometown team and the Lakers took a major step at the trade deadline. In pursuit of creating cap space for two max contract players, Los Angeles acquired Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2019 first round draft pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers. With a young core established, the Lakers present an intriguing situation for George if they can pair him with LeBron James.
George averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 79 appearances.