Paul George Says Interest In Lakers ‘Overstated’

After several weeks of trade rumors that linked him to a wide variety of teams, Paul George was ultimately sent to a suitor that had barely been mentioned, with the Pacers trading him to the Oklahoma City. Speaking to Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, George discussed his new team and dismissed the idea that he’s a lock to eventually become a Laker.

“I grew up a Lakers and a Clippers fan,” George said. “I idolized Kobe [Bryant]. There will always be a tie here, a connection here. People saying I want to come here, who doesn’t want to play for their hometown? That’s a dream come true, if you’re a kid growing up on the outskirts of L.A., to be the man in your city. But it’s definitely been overstated.

“For me, it’s all about winning,” George continued. “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.”

While we shouldn’t pencil in a long-term deal for George and the Thunder quite yet, his comments suggest it’s not a foregone conclusion that he’ll jump ship at season’s end. The star forward also sounds positive about Oklahoma City, having received an endorsement of the city and the organization from a somewhat unlikely source: a fellow All-Star who decided to leave OKC a year ago, Kevin Durant.

“KD was like, ‘That place will blow you away,'” George said. “He told me, ‘They can offer what other teams can’t in terms of the people and the preparation and the facility, down to the chefs and the meals.’ He was pretty high on them. He thought it was a first-class organization in every way.”

George will be eligible to hit the unrestricted free agent market in the summer of 2018, at which point the Lakers are expected to have room for at least one maximum contract, while the Thunder will hold George’s Bird rights and will have the ability to offer him more years and dollars than any other team.

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28 thoughts on “Paul George Says Interest In Lakers ‘Overstated’

  1. TJECK109

    Good job saying the right things heading before heading to OKC. See you in LA next year

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  2. GMB 883

    Now I understand why the Pacers would not trade PG to the Cavs or Celtics. They were afraid it would go very well and he would sign a long years deal to help either team win for years. Having said that they still should take the best deal for their team and if they could have had Smart, Crowder and 2 first round picks to use in a rebuild then they are short sited and they did not make the best deal for their team. Dumb

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    • the dude

      The Celtics never made that offer man. You just got caught up in rumors and speculation.

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      • Connorsoxfan

        It’s not just speculation… multiple credible sources have said this offer was made.

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        • myaccount

          And one of those sources said it was offered at the deadline, before Indy began feeling the heat. There’s truly no way of knowing. Credible sources get info wrong still.

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          • GuruGray

            If Indy didn’t “feel the heat” last year then that is on them. Everyone else knew he was as good as gone

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    • gmflores27

      I like Pritchards other moves but this trade sucked because he used your logic GMB

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      • Chun

        Pritchard’s a idiot he could’ve had fultz
        Bradley and 1st rounder in 2019.
        It was a personal decision to spite George!

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  3. dodgerfan711

    Smart idea Paul keep it lowkey. That Jimmy Kimmel interview was too obvious

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  4. GMB 883

    TJECK109 – I think he might be sincere about this because what we were hearing is he would consider a 3 or 4 year deal with the Cavs or Celtics. Pacers did not want to make a deal in the East. They could have had Love or 2 starting Celtics and 2 first round picks but instead ended up with with 2 Ok players who might be good some day but not great. Big Mistake

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  5. GMB 883

    We have all seen players who went home to play and it did not work out. Sometimes being away from home is better. I think he ends up in LA but I also think I’m the right situation he would consider staying. You can’t trust LaBron. What if he decides to stay in Cleveland or go the NYC and become a Knick with KP and another top player. Knicks could trade a few to clear salary cap space just like the Lakers did with Dangelo Russell.

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  6. GMB 883

    Based on a local Boston reporter who is very well connected to Danny Ainge (he always seems to know before everyone else) I have absolutely no doubt the Celtics made that offer but they would not do the deal until after the Hayward decision. They also offered a player and 3 first round picks at the trade deadline – one of which would have netted the Pacers the #1 pick in the draft.
    Your believing Prichard because now he is playing spin control saying don’t believe what you hear because he looks like s fool. At the end of the day this might be better for the Celtics because Brown and Tatum look good and they need minutes to develop. Now that I can see Tatum play I understand why Ainge believed he was the best player in the draft. No doubt Fultz, Ball and Jackson will all be very good but Tatum (although it’s Summer league) so pump the brakes but his quickness, moves, length, ability to rebound is impressive. I’m interested to see how quickly he can make the NBA adjustments. Only time will tell.

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    • JT19

      While I agree that the Pacers should have taken the best offer for George, the speculation over the rumored deadline offer is useless when you consider George hadn’t commented on his future at that point. At that point, the Pacers were hoping George would make an All-NBA team to be eligible for the super-max deal. If George had told the Pacers at that point that he was going to leave no matter what, then yeah, it makes sense to take that deal. But he hadn’t, so they were hoping they would have the super max deal to offer him.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Bird was in control at the deadline so you can’t blame Pritchard for not taking the deal involving the #1 pick.

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  7. GMB 883

    Good point but even if he was an All NBA first team selection and they offer him a Super Max deal, he wants to win now and the Pacers do not have the assets and Indiana is not the type of City that attracts big time players. If they can’t bring him 1 or 2 other top players then they can’t compete at a high level with Cleveland, and eventually GS etc… those are the decisions the big boys need to vet through. I think Larry was frustrated and needed a break. He saw what was happening and he stepped down. It’s hard to rebuild but it can be done in places like Indiana with top draft picks and by signing developing young players who improve year over year with great coaching. Why not get as much as possible for PG and build that team around Turner etc…

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  8. Connorsoxfan

    The PG trade is why the super max deal isn’t a good idea lol

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  9. halos101

    omg i hope pg13 doesn’t go the lakers so it can be yet another free agent that laker fans assume they have and miss on

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  10. Table

    Remember when he said he was committed to Indiana for 2017? yeah lol

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  11. GMB 883

    It’s all about the Super teams and GS took it to another level with KD. They have 4 great players and a very good bench. If a team wants to compete they need to build their version of the Super team however they choose to do that.

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  12. Chun

    Well then stay w/hog cheese Westbrook
    Like Durant. Oh my bad Durant left to
    win a Championship!

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  13. St.Philly

    I dunno, doesn’t seem like you should tell someone moving to tornado alley that that place will “blow you away”.

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  14. showty

    if it’s ah great City it’s ah great City…. and I think he can win their.. if he can make the playoffs with the pacers he can definitely win with Westbrook… do ya think PG13

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  15. Sports

    The problem with “credible sources” is the same problem with journalism in this country, or as it should be called YELLOW Journalism. Opinions (their beliefs) and click bait are now what runs the media- headlines. Being the “first to report” has become more important than the actual truth and stories. Very scary that this issue in every form of media has not been challenged enough by our country.
    FACTS are the only thing credible and w/out them, we will continue down a slippery slope

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  16. GMB 883

    Can’t disagree with that. Now take a look at Adrian Wojnarowski when it’s about the NBA. He checks all 3 boxes. He gets the story first (usually), he gives you facts and he typically has the scoop before all of his peers. Impressive as he must have extremely credible sources.

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