Paul George is a Southern California native, but it is reportedly no sure thing that he will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith cited sources on his Stephen A. Smith Show who said they aren't sure George will ink a contract with the Purple and Gold. Smith noted the Oklahoma City Thunder plan on offering him a max contract, and it will "be hard for him to pull away from that" when combined with his positive relationship with Russell Westbrook.
However, Smith pointed out George's wife and parents would prefer him to sign with the Lakers.
Failing to land George could be a problem for the Lakers, Smith explained, because LeBron James could wait to see who else they add before potentially signing with them this offseason.
Getting George would be that much more important in that scenario, especially if the Lakers are unable to trade for Kawhi Leonard.
While ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the San Antonio Spurs star prefers to be traded to the Lakers, Smith said it is "not a foregone conclusion" that will happen if the Spurs wait and work on the relationship or ship him elsewhere so he is not an immediate threat in the West.
Whichever team ultimately signs George will have one of the NBA's best two-way players as an anchor for the 2018-19 campaign.
He is a five-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection and three-time All-Defensive selection who averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game in 2017-18 for the Thunder. The Lakers have been missing a player of his caliber since they last made the playoffs in 2012-13.
The Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in sports history and can pitch George on the coming-home storyline. However, they will reportedly have their hands full trying to convince him to leave Oklahoma City even though the Thunder flamed out in the first round of the playoffs while relying on Westbrook, George and Carmelo Anthony.