Free Agency and Free Will

The reaction to LeBron and Paul George's decisions reveals how differently we talk about athlete employment decisions from everyone else. Plus my thoughts on the Cousins signing and all of the one-year deals.

LeBron, Paul George, and Player Decisions

It was somewhat of a shock on Saturday when news broke that Paul George was re-upping with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three years and a player option. It was surprising enough that George, who just one year prior had announced his intentions to return home and sign with the Lakers when he was a free agent, would have been so swayed by his one, up-and-down season in Oklahoma. Bu the length of the deal was also unexpected: It might have made sense to try again for one or two more seasons and then hit free agency again with a chance to get to a higher max salary[^1]. But to sign a contract that will keep him with the Thunder for three or even four years? This was a complete about-face from last offseason’s demands that forced the Pacers to deal him, and a decision that many did not understand. Some on social media even questioned George’s intelligence and decision-making.

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