Paul George intended to join Lakers; trade to Thunder changed plans

Indianapolis Star

Published 2:43 PM EDT Oct 18, 2018

Paul George intended to join Lakers; trade to Thunder changed plans

Looks like the Indiana Pacers should apologize to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George told ESPN's The Undefeated he always intended to join the Lakers if he played out his contract with the Pacers. Then he was traded to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, and things changed.

"It wasn't overstated," George said. "I wanted to play in L.A. That is where I wanted to go. Had that trade never went down, had I played one more year in Indy, I would have been in a Lakers uniform."

The Lakers picked up LeBron James, Lance Stephenson and more this past offseason. And George sounds like he's happy with Russell Westbrook and a new four-year, $137 million contract extension.

But again the Lakers will wonder, what if? What if they gambled like Thunder general manager Sam Presti?

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"Going toward the summer and going toward free agency, I kind of had my mind made up talking with the team, talking with Russ and talking with the front-office," George said. "I kind of felt good where we were at.

"Last (season), I didn't get a chance to start with this team fresh. I got traded late. So I picked up things late with the team. I wanted to get to it right away this time and start creating early."

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