The eventual destination of Oklahoma City Thunder wingman Paul George will be one of the primary storylines during the upcoming offseason considering he has a player option on his contract for the 2018-19 campaign, and he discussed his impending decision in Los Angeles during the NBA's All-Star Weekend.
"It's funny but at the end of the day I know where my decision lands, or what my decision is, and that's all that matters," he said, per Bill Oram of the Orange County Register.
George said he doesn't already know where he will sign but added, "I know what I feel is best, but it's a long ways until the end of the season."
George is from the Los Angeles area, and it is no secret the Lakers would be interested considering they were already fined $500,000 in August for tampering thanks to impermissible contact with George's agent.
Oram noted the Purple and Gold figure to have nearly $70 million in cap space during the offseason after they traded Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to the Cleveland Cavaliers and listed George and LeBron James as two max-level players they will pursue.
Lakers fans even started a "We want Paul!" chant during his appearance at Saturday's media day in Los Angeles, per Oram, although teammate Russell Westbrook said George wasn't leaving Oklahoma City in response to the cheers.
For all the discussion about George and the Lakers, the versatile playmaker has made it abundantly clear how much he enjoys playing with Westbrook and the Thunder.
"Well, I mean I'm happy here," George said earlier this month, per Sam Amick of USA Today.
The former Indiana Pacer also said his relationship with Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony was a "brotherhood" in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols and called it "awesome" Westbrook defended him when he was not included in the initial All-Star teams in a January interview with Nichols, via Royce Young of ESPN.com.
"Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make, is the character Russ [has]," George said, via Young. "A stand-up guy, and he has his teammate's back."
George is averaging 22.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game playing alongside Westbrook in Oklahoma City, and the Thunder are sitting in the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.
His presence makes them dangerous come playoff time considering he can take some of the scoring pressure off Westbrook's shoulders and defend the opposition's best perimeter playmaker as a three-time All-Defensive selection.
However, the Lakers could use a piece like that as well as they build with a young core and attempt to re-establish themselves as regular contenders and will have the cap space to add him in their pursuit.