Paul George agreed to a four-year extension with the Thunder after the 2017-18 season. But that number was largely meaningless, to hear him tell it. In an interview with new Clippers teammate Kawhi Leonard, George told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he was treating last season as a one-year trial period.
"“We were all on the same page,” he said. “The initial plan was to give it another year, see what we could do. I did that — played another year. Just felt like we were stagnate.”"
George also said that the decision was mutual between he and management.
It’s no secret that the NBA is bending toward a the light of player empowerment. They’ve long been criticized for being disloyal when, in reality, teams have had the power to discard them at a whim.
It does feel new to hear George speak so frankly about the emptiness of that four-year deal. His comments came on the same day Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Anthony Davis’ trade request was bad for the league.
Reasonable minds can disagree on how the new normal — if that’s what this is — will impact the league. Everyone can take notice and approach things with their eyes wide-open to the reality of volatility.
A four-year deal on paper is just that: on paper. If the player or team decides things are greener on the other side, that paper ain’t worth much.