New small forward: Paul George
The last thing on Paul George’s mind may be to join another super team in the Western Conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired both George and Carmelo Anthony last offseason to create a scary super team around Russell Westbrook. OKC emerged as the favorites to dethrone the Warriors in the Western Conference to give Westbrook his ultimate redemption.
Things have not quite worked out as planned.
The Oklahoma City Thunder currently sit as the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a 15-15 record. Although they are still in line to make the playoffs, and will inevitably improve as the season transpires, a 15-15 record is scary for a team with three perennial all-stars.
George has seen a direct dip in his production as well. The all-star forward is averaging 19.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game — his worst totals since the 2012-2013 season (not accounting for his missed season).
However, it may not be the super team that is necessarily throwing Paul George off. George’s dip in production can be chalked up to Westbrook himself. Players get better when they move away from Westbrook. Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Enes Kanter are the latest examples. James Harden and Kevin Durant were the pioneers of this trend.
However, if George joins this hypothetical super team in Los Angeles he will not have that problem. Not only is LeBron James the best player in the NBA, he will distribute the basketball and will give Goerge his best looks in his career. Plus, with a distributing, non-scoring, point guard like Lonzo Ball, George will have the ball in his hands more often.
Thus, the Lakers now have a super team consisting of LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George to go along with two future superstars in Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. The results can be scary.