A former teammate believes that Paul George's move to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 remains a possibility even he finds success with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the coming season. Danny Granger, who played with George with the Indiana Pacers for several years, told The Oklahoman that the Lakers will always be in play in free agency for the All-Star forward even if the Thunder put a winning team together. However, Granger said George might stick with the Thunder if they can compete for the championship next season.

Granger explained that the Thunder gave George something that he didn’t have with the Pacers when they traded for him -- a superstar partner like Russell Westbrook.

However, the Lakers can address that by signing a marquee free agent in 2018 to pair with George. Currently, the Lakers are signing free agents to one-year deals to keep their salary cap room intact for LeBron James’ possible move in 2018.

Lakers look good on paper with Ball, Ingram

As of now, Granger said the Lakers may look good on paper with young players like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram but they need more to become a solid contender in the Western Conference. Last season, the Thunder made it to the playoffs despite losing Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. Granger said the Lakers must first prove to George that they have the goods to compete and have a solid plan to win. “If Indiana had a definite plan to win he would have stayed in Indiana,” Granger told the newspaper.

Granger’s career derailed by injuries

Now an NBA TV analyst at age 34, Granger was an All-Star during his time with the Pacers until knee and foot injuries derailed his career. A 17th overall pick by the Pacers in 2005, he averaged a career-best 25.8 points during the 2008-09 season en route to an All Star appearance and the league's Most Improved Player award.

The next season, the 6-foot-9 small forward was limited to just 62 games due to injuries but still averaged 24.1 points per outing. Granger went on to play 79 and 62 games the next two seasons but was limited to just 34 games in his last two years with the Pacers.

Before the 2013-14 season ended, Granger was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, who bought out his contract.

He joined the Los Angeles Clippers but was limited to 12 games, averaging 8.0 points. The next season, he signed with the Miami Heat, averaging 6.3 points in 30 games. He tried to revive his career in Detroit but he was released by the Pistons while he was rehabbing from injuries.

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