It might be a pipedream but here's why Paul George should really consider the Wizards
Originally posted on CSNMidatlantic.com
By Nick Ashooh
It's officially rumor season in the NBA.
That time of year where every NBA fan — at some point — thinks about what it would take to get whatever superstar engulfed in trade talks to play for their team.
It doesn't matter how serious the conversations are, or how realistic the logistics need to be.
Admit it, at some point you've pictured Paul George changing uniforms like this:
As CSN's J. Michael explained, Paul George to D.C. is not a likely scenario, but it sure looks good, doesn't it?
So let's take this a step further, and lay out actual reasons the Wizards should be a serious consideration for Paul George.
1. Playing with John Wall makes players better
In an era full of shoot-first point guards, there's a premium on the traditional point guard in the NBA. Luckily, the Wizards have one.
Wall was second in the NBA in assists per game, at 10.7 during the regular season. He also doesn't need a ton of shots either, taking only 18.4 per game, and hitting over 45 percent of them.
Efficiency is a major plus in the NBA.
To put that in perspective, Russell Westbrook — the newly minted MVP — who ranked just behind Wall in assists, still took over 24 shots per game.
Wall is efficient and unselfish. He thrives on making sure everyone is a part of the offense.
The Wizards ranked sixth in the NBA in assists. The Cavaliers, who are desperately trying to land George in a trade, ranked 13th with a ball-dominant point guard (yes they have LeBron, but Kyrie Irving needs his shots to be happy, Wall doesn't).
2. Scott Brooks and his system
The Wizards have an offense George would thrive in. They can score (5th in ppg) and move fast to get there (11th in pace).
If you like the ball in your hands, with opportunities to put up big numbers comfortably, Scott Brooks has what George is looking for.
That's what Kevin Durant wanted too, and look how that turned out.
3. The Wizards have the rare combination of youth and experience
Every team wants to get younger, but with youth usually, comes inexperience.
Not in the Wizards case though.
They were tied for the ninth youngest team in the NBA in 2016-17, with an average age at under 26 years old.
Their young building blocks in Wall and Bradley Beal already have 65 combined postseason games under their belts.
The Lakers, in a complete rebuild right now, had the same average age as the Wizards, and their young core has — wait for it — ZERO games of experience in the playoffs. How long does that take to change? How long does George want to wait and babysit?
On the other hand, the Cavs and Clippers have plenty playoff experience but are the oldest teams in the NBA.
What's the future in Cleveland and Los Angeles going to look like in two years?
4. The Wizards future is more defined
That brings us to another important part of the Wizards.
Beal is locked up until 2021. Wall is here until at least 2019, and would likely want to stick around much longer with a third star on this team.
Those are the names that matter for George, and you know where they stand with the organization.
LeBron can opt out after next season, Irving has quietly been shopped, and there's more than enough questions about long-term stability in Cleveland.
The Lakers have cap space coming yes, but the Wizards already have two stars on the roster with a proven track record.
It's not a "what if" scenario for George in Washington, D.C.
In Los Angeles, it's "what if" Lonzo Ball can be a great point guard, or "what if" Brandon Ingram reaches his potential.
How long are you willing to wait to compete if you're Paul George and you're looking to win now?
5. Altering D.C. sports history would make Paul George a legend
NBA stars aren't as dependent on big markets to help build their brand like they used to be, but it still doesn't hurt.
D.C. is the eighth biggest media market in the country, and desperate for a champion.
Cleveland is important to the NBA because of LeBron. When he leaves, a smoldering crater will be left behind.
Los Angeles is Hollywood first, but basketball second. It's what hurt the Lakers in their recent recruiting pitches to stars like LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant.
Imagine the legend George would be in this city if he were to help lead the Wizards to a title?
You're not getting murals on a wall outside of Ben's Chili Bowl for winning one title with the Lakers. You still have to catch up to Magic, Kareem, and Kobe to even be remembered once you retire out there.
If you win a ring here though, you elevate your legacy to a whole new stratosphere.
Look at the Warriors first title. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will be the three names always associated with turning them around from basement dwellers to NBA Champions.
Forget super teams and Kevin Durant, their career headlines were written when they changed the Warriors image in 2015.
LeBron James's biggest career accomplishment will be bringing a ring (maybe more) to Cleveland. He ended the "since 1964" drought.
If Paul George wants to truly be looked at as an all-time great, bringing an NBA title to Washington would be what pops off the page of his resume.
Not grooming a bunch of kids in L.A. to win something they've already seen 16 times.
Isn't that what players care about now anyway, how they're remembered?
So in the end, Paul George can either play in the shadows somewhere else, or create a whole new spotlight on himself here in DC.
It just depends on what his priorities really are.