A PG-13 Love story
It only works one way: Paul George must opt into his contract because of salary cap restrictions.
George could then sign an extension to stay in Cleveland, assuming LeBron James finally takes the plunge and inks a long-term deal with the team that drafted him in 2003.
I’m not counting on it, but I digress.
OK, so why’s George need to option in? Cleveland is a repeat offender of paying into the luxury tax, the Cavaliers cannot accept a player in a sign-and-trade, so George wouldn’t be able to sign a max-deal and hen come to Cleveland.
For the Thunder, Oklahoma City receives an All-Star player in Kevin Love who played alongside Russell Westbrook when the UCLA Bruins made a run to the Final Four back in the mid-2000s.
The Thunder get something, rather than nothing for losing George. Love is under contract for two more years. This makes a whole heck-of-a-lot more sense than the idea of trading Westbrook.
Westbrook begins the first year of a five-year supermax deal this season.
Pairing him with Love keeps the Thunder relevant.
Meanwhile, Cleveland gets a better No. 2 option, in addition to keeping the eighth overall pick in the NBA Draft.