Paul George Reportedly Talked to Klay Thompson About Playing Together in Future

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 22:  Klay Thompson (L) #11 and Paul George #13 of the United States talk on the bench during a USA Basketball showcase exhibition game against Argentina at T-Mobile Arena on July 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The United States won 111-74.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Paul George is still a member of the Indiana Pacers, but the four-time All-Star is reportedly already working behind the scenes to potentially team up with Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson.              

According to NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Kelenna Azubuike (via 95.7 The Game), George discussed with Thompson the possibility of playing together in Los Angeles when the two-time NBA champion becomes a free agent after the 2018-19 season.

George has one more guaranteed year remaining on his contract with the Pacers. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported June 18 that the forward informed Indiana he'll opt out of his deal next summer. Wojnarowski also reported the Los Angeles Lakers were George's preferred destination for the next stop in his NBA career.

While it seems unlikely Thompson would ever leave Golden State, re-signing him may not be straightforward for Warriors general manager Bob Myers. The team has benefited from having its best young players on team-friendly deals, but that's no longer the case after Thompson and Green recently signed extensions. Stephen Curry is in line for a max deal as well this summer.

The cost of retaining all three, plus re-signing Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, will put a serious strain on Golden State's payroll.

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That's not to say chances are high Thompson moves on in 2019, but it's at least a possibility if financial concerns essentially force Myers to choose between Thompson and Green, who is a free agent in 2020.

Now, whether Thompson would consider signing with the Lakers is another thing entirely. Los Angeles has a solid young core and added Lonzo Ball to the mix in the 2017 NBA draft last Thursday at the Barclays Center. But even if they acquire George, the Lakers may still be in the process of building toward title contention—rather than having a roster capable of challenging for a championship—in 2019.

Signing with the Lakers may be a tough sell for a star who has two titles in the last three years and will presumably challenge for more over the next two seasons.

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