As the time is now for the moves by the unrestricted free agents in the NBA, here are my predictions.
Paul George will be in a Thunder uniform for 2018-19. The bigger question is will he sign a one year contract with a player option for another? Or will he go for a max contract in OKC that can pay the most money right now?
George has a few lucrative options. With OKC:
He could sign a so-called “one-plus-one” contract that would pay him $30.3 million next season and $32.7 million in 2019-20 that includes a player option to return to free agency next summer, the New York Times reported. He reaches 10 years of service in 2020, making him eligible to sign a four-year, $169 million max contract with a team with salary cap space. (Sporting News)
Or will he take the largest paycheck he can get today by inking a long term deal with Oklahoma City, securing his longevity in the league that would pay him close to $40 million dollars in the final year of a five year $176 million deal beginning this upcoming season?
The smart decision for George is not clear. As for security, the five contract now is the less risky. Sign a one year with a one year option is playing with some issues if a serious injury happens to him, which is something that I am sure he understands. Never scoff at guaranteed money. You never know when bad happens.
I predict he takes the one year with options. Then he starts all over next summer.
As for George leaving OKC, the Lakers are the one team that he could consider if he and Lebron James work a deal to go as a tandem. Yes, it could happen but I don’t think it will happen. That move could happen now or in a year.
Will Lebron James will stay in Cleveland for another year with a player option for 2019-2020? The option of heading west now, to either the Lakers or the Clippers could happen. The Sixers are still in the picture in my opinion. James to the city of brotherly love. That gives him a young team to end his career.
Look for Chris Paul to stay with Houston and sign a long term deal that will end his career in Texas.
As for Kawhi Leonard, it will be Boston if he moves. I do not see the Spurs sending him to a Western Conference team.