Horne: James, Leonard, George Could All End Up In LA

June 29, 2018 - 10:53 am
Paul George

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"To Paul George, the money is inconsequential. ...It's just a matter of his happiness at this point. So, I don't think he's really thinking so much about the 40-some odd million he's going to leave on the table. He's just thinking about where …he want[s] to spend next year and the following year."

Erik Horne, Oklahoma City Thunder beat reporter for The Oklahoman, joined Ferrall on the Bench to talk about some of the moves that are being made this NBA offseason. 

Paul George, expected to enter the free agency this Sunday, has been featured in a multi-part documentary called My Journey, which talks about his experience navigating free agency. In it, he's seen with Dwayne Wade talking about how he's always wanted to play with the Lakers. Horne wasn't surprised.

"This has been said about this dude since last year, when they made it known to Indiana, before his contract was even up, that that was his preferred destination." Horne said. "He was Kawhi Leonard, before Kawhi Leonard was Kawhi Leonard." 

Horne aded, "He opens up part 2 of that documentary saying LA's home. This is a place where I grew up wearing a Lakers jersey. It gives you all kinds of stuff to chew on, but it isn't a secret; that guy loves LA. It seems like they're the favorite to be the destination, but Oklahoma City has kind of closed the gap in the last year."

Ferrall asks how Horne thinks the situation with LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George will end up. Is there really a chance that LA acquires all three?

"I think that's possible. It's going to take some salary cap gymnastics. ... They want to do the trade, it's really up to the Spurs. The Spurs are really holding all the cards." Horne said. "I think that Paul's going to go. …I'm not going to give percentages, I just always thought that Paul was going to be a Laker, regardless of what he said about his time in Oklahoma City... I feel like LeBron's leaning that way too.”

"I think at least 2 of the 3 is happening. I think 3 would be a stretch. But I'd put my money on Paul being there and Lebron at the start of next season."

Ferrall also wondered how Russell Westbrook feels about the idea of Paul George leaving and being the star in Oklahoma City.

"He loves it. He wouldn't have signed off on that deal if he didn't love being the man." Horne explained. "Look, Russell's a guy who likes to be in control. He's a guy who likes the ball in his hands obviously." 

"Russell Westbrook's going to be fine, but if they don't get Paul George, they've still got to try and make moves and strengthen that team next season."