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Report: Paul George Willing to Sign With Cavs If LeBron James Stays Long-Term
- Updated: June 27, 2017
There’s been continued and heavily analyzed speculation on whether the Cleveland Cavaliers will be able to execute a trade for Indiana Pacers star Paul George. After George told the Pacers front office he would be leaving at the end of the 2017-18, it’s been repeatedly said that his hometown Los Angeles Lakers are the likely destination.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith now reports that, if traded for, George would stay with Cleveland as long as LeBron James elects to stay with the Cavs.
— Damon Kecman (@DownWithDamon) June 27, 2017
“He’s obviously indicated he doesn’t want to stay with the Pacers, which has put them in a bind,” Smith said of Paul George. “He can’t stay there; they’ve got to make a move this summer because they can’t open the season with him. So they’re looking to move him. According to numerous reports, he’s told the Los Angeles Lakers that he wants to be there. He intends and practically guaranteed them that he’s coming by summer 2018. But from what I heard as recently as a couple of days ago, is that he’s letting word leak to the Cleveland Cavaliers that if LeBron indeed elects to stay in Cleveland, then Paul George won’t depart Cleveland as long as LeBron is still there if they pull off a trade to acquire him.
“Now it appears to be the Cavaliers or the Los Angeles Clippers. You hear stuff about the San Antonio Spurs and things of that nature, which he wouldn’t mind, but that would be a one-year rental. Whereas with the Cleveland Cavaliers it appears it would be more than that if LeBron James stayed. But his ideal landing spot would be the Los Angeles Lakers, despite the fact that they’re not contenders right now.”
This potentially marks a major change of plans for George, who was widely portrayed as being rigidly adamant about joining the Lakers. It also suggests playing with James may be George’s true first choice, regardless of location.
This new scenario could entice James to try and make another handful of championship runs with Cleveland, instead of heading west after the upcoming season.