Ex-Thunder star tabbed as 'dream' offseason target for franchise

Jan 8, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault
Jan 8, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The OKC Thunder are a team whose sights are set on winning an NBA title as soon as this season.

Of course, considering they are still so young and rather inexperienced, many believe that they could falter during their quest for a title in 2024 which, in turn, could force their front office to try and restructure things a bit to better their odds of winning it all come next year.

This summer, Oklahoma City is slated to have roughly $20 million in cap space to work with, which, though far from the max, is enough for them to either add on several new talents or cash in on one solid player.

Should they go with the latter option, there are a number of players that have been tabbed as possible targets, with guys like Knicks forward OG Anunoby often being discussed among the fanbase and within the media.

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report seems to have a different idea of how the Thunder might want to partake in offseason shenanigans, however, as he recently broached the concept of a reunion between them and former franchise cornerstone Paul George, a player he's gone on to deem as a "dream" target.

Paul George tabbed as 'dream' offseason target for OKC Thunder

"They'd probably have to make an extra move or two to get to the amount of cap space necessary to sign Paul George, but just imagine his return to the Thunder to play alongside Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams and Holmgren.

At this point in his career, he doesn't bring quite as much defensive upside as Anunoby, but his offense is significantly better. And having a 1B option as potent as George would it make it borderline impossible to devote enough defensive attention to SGA."

Andy Bailey

The nine-time All-Star spent two seasons as a member of the Thunder from 2017 through 2019, the last of which he went on to finish third in the league's MVP race.

During his stint in the 73102, George played at perhaps his highest level as a pro, wrapping up his final season with sensational averages of 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 38.6 percent from deep.

His brief tenure came to an end just one year after re-upping with the franchise in free agency, as Sam Presti and company opted to blow up the tandem of him and Russell Westbrook, sending George to the LA Clippers in the trade that ultimately landed them current cornerstone Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Five years removed from such a happening, the 33-year-old still finds himself producing at an All-Star level, as he's posting impressive per-game averages of 22.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.6 steals on 46.3 percent shooting from the floor and 40.0 percent shooting from distance this season.

Imagine adding this type of production to an OKC core already consisting of SGA, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren.

Playing through his final year under contract with the Clippers, George will be a headline name during the upcoming 2024 free agency class. While his services will certainly be pursued by a plethora of other expected contenders, Bailey believes the Thunder should be in on the action.

Frankly, should money come second to putting himself in the best position to win a title, George may be interested in a reunion as well.

manual