Russell Westbrook said earlier this week on Wednesday if he needed to make a sales pitch to teammate Paul George in order to keep him at the Oklahoma City Thunder next season since he could potentially be an unrestricted free agent by the end of the season.
"No. Sales pitch is gonna be when we win a championship," Westbrook said. "Beat that pitch."
While it's good the reigning MVP has this confidence that he can persuade his teammate to stay in Oklahoma City, George has long been tied with the Los Angeles Lakers since LA is his hometown. Talk of him joining the team reached it's highest peak so far during the summer when his agent informed the Indiana Pacers that he wouldn't re-sign and mentioned the Lakers as a desired destination.
Speaking to ESPN, the small forward reacted to the comments made by Westbrook, stating he isn't looking for a championship as a selling point if he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. He said what matters to him is being on a team that's going in the right direction.
George told ESPN before the Oklahoma City Thunder's 133-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center: "I've got a lot to think about. This summer will be huge. I've got a lot to think about. If we're trending, if we're going in the right direction, if I feel there is something that we're building, and there's a foundation -- it would be kind of clueless, just stupid on my behalf to up and leave.
"I'm very conscious that we're only together for a year so far, and we continue to go in an upward trend. It's best to stick with what we have and work on building. So, I wouldn't say it's championship or bust, or championship and I'm out. It's all about building. If I like where we're building or the level that we're going at, it would be stupid to walk away from that."
Oklahoma City has surged of late, winning seven of its past nine games, with newcomers George and Carmelo Anthony finally starting to play better alongside Westbrook. They're starting to produce on the court like the super team threat they were posed to be at the start of the season.
However, unless the Thunder can demonstrate they have some potential to win a championship in the next couple of years, George is unlikely to sign a new deal with them, as they won't be going in the direction that he wants to go in.