LeBron returns to LA to plot next move as free agency nears

Paul George

Last season was George's first with the Oklahoma City Thunder after coming over from the Indiana Pacers in a deal involving Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Neil deGrasse Tyson couldn't find a universe in which George worth an average of $34.25 million a year.

"Here's essence of Paul George's 4-year, $137M deal, w/ player option: New CBA allows George to extend after 2nd anniversary of deal".

Kawhi Leonard has followed George's example in demanding a trade and letting it be known that he intends on being a Los Angeles Laker, either this summer or the next when he is an unrestricted free agent. Rumors swirled that George will stay with the Thunder after Westbrook flew back to Oklahoma City amid a family vacation in Hawaii to arrange the party. Even in the days before that trade, George was telling friends he eventually would wind up with the Lakers.

While the reason for the party wasn't clear, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski pointed to something else going on in Oklahoma City on Friday.

Has Bradley really played eight seasons already?

Jabari Parker, the former No. 2 overall pick, is one of the more intriguing names in free agency this year, though he is a restricted free agent.

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Jerami Grant #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks two points against Melbourne United during the second half of a National Basketball Association preseason game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on October 8, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

More stunning was locking up Westbrook, another Los Angeles native, in the long term prior to last season.

George, who went to high school in Palmdale, in Los Angeles County, and attended college at Fresno State, has always been rumored to be interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers, perhaps going there with another free agent such as LeBron James. Philadelphia would instantly vault from conference contender to favorite with James, who could make a strong run at his ninth straight Finals in Year One. The more versatile your players are, the more flexibility you have to do the things that you want to do on both ends of the floor.

If George, 28, sticks with that statement, it would be a huge blow to the Los Angeles Lakers, who have spent a year trying to lure the California native back to the state. If George and the Thunder are happy and can make that happen, good for them.

George committed to remain with the Thunder, according to multiple media reports. George also garnered all-defensive first-team honors in 2014.

If Cousins doesn't get offered a max contract though, he may take a short-term deal to prove he can return to an All-Star level.

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