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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell says he plans to recruit Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George to the Salt Lake City.
Mitchell, a guest on an ESPN podcast, says he will “definitely” talk to George once free agency starts on July 1.
“He’s due,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s July 1. I’m definitely going to have that conversation with him. Why not play with us? You look at how we move the ball. We play with guys who don’t care who scores the most, who rebounds the most. We play with guys who genuinely want to win.
“You can only imagine what we’d be able to do if we had that one big piece. It would be great. If not, like I said, we trust our abilities to do well. But it would be great to have that one piece like you’re talking about.”
The Jazz beat the Thunder in the first-round of the playoffs in six games. The Jazz’s fluid offense and rugged defense made things difficult for George and the Thunder.
George is expected to decline his 2018-19 player option to enter free agency this summer. The swingman averaged 21.9 points for the Thunder this season while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. He underwent a scope procedure on his left knee on May 9 and will likely return to offseason basketball activities at some point between June 20 and July 4.
The Thunder have maintained that their primary focus this offseason is to re-sign George, but they will have competition for George’s services. The Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers will aggressively try to sign George as well.
As of now, the Jazz would need to shed some salary cap in order to offer George a max contract.