No trade deal is anticipated to happen between the Los Angeles Lakers and Paul George. Reports show that D'Angelo Russell and his team appear to no longer be interested in pursuing the Indiana Pacers star following the new direction the front office intends to take this offseason. Does this mean that Luke Walton finally figured out how to bring the Jordan Clarkson team back to its former glory during the Kobe Bryant era?
The Indiana Pacers suffered yet another heartbreaking loss in the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers amid the efforts of Paul George to keep his team afloat. Despite his fantastic play, the team turned out to be no match against LeBron James and a healthy Kevin Love. Although this recent loss does not eliminate the Indiana Pacers out of the running for the 2017 NBA playoffs, it highlighted the difference between both teams. Surprisingly, some fans believed it to be a poor reflection of Paul George himself.
Rumors are rife that the problems with the Indiana Pacers stem from Paul George and his leadership skills. Fans point to other lone All-Star players in their teams as proof to this assumption. The performances of Russell Westbrook in the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden in the Houston Rockets reportedly highlight the issues of Paul George's playmaking. Hence, speculations disclose that this might be the reason behind the loss of interest from the Los Angeles Lakers.
"It's on me, man. You've got a guy like Russ (Westbrook) who's making everything I do not enough," shared Paul George of his current NBA season. "He's putting on performances and he's winning games. So I can't say nothing. If a guy like Russ can win games and play at the level he's playing at, regardless of how I'm playing, it's not enough."
He further admitted, "I'm worried about making the playoffs. I'm going to play at the highest I can, the best I can every night. Wherever that lands me, that's where it lands me. I'm fighting for a playoff spot."
Speculations on an impending divorce between the Indiana Pacers and the lucrative Paul George contract in their roster have been rampant especially after the NBA All-Star break. Teams tagged in this trade rumor include the Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks and even the Cleveland Cavaliers. It remains to be seen if the Los Angeles Lakers rejoin the list or if the recent performance of D'Angelo Russell finally convinced Luke Walton that he has found their next Kobe Bryant.