How much better can Paul George be?
Was having a discussion with a friend, and his sentiment is that Paul George is almost at his ceiling and might get marginally better from this point out. Do you all agree?
Do you see superstardom in him? like top 3-5 players in NBA one day?
He has the tools to become a superstar in the NBA in a five years or so at the absolute best, but he is still a long way off. He had a phenomenal postseason and has shown outstanding progress season to season. He is already an outstanding two-way player already and has a versatile offensive game that is effective both in the half court and in transition.
That said, he averaged 17 ppg on 41% shooting with a PER under 17 last season. He is a long way off from being a top 5 player in the NBA. He is fortunate to be on an extremely well-coached and managed team that has an outstanding nucleus moving forward, but he is not the dominant force that a top 5 five player should be. He may not even be the most important player on his own team, an honor that belongs to Roy Hibbert. I look forward to seeing how George's game develops and if he can help put Indiana win a championship with their balanced roster, but I would not put superstar expectations upon him.
For him to reach the superstar level, I'd give him like, a 30% chance. But be a top-15 player in the league, sure. And soon, IMO.
He can significantly improve his decision making (4 TO/gm in the playoffs) and shot selection (43%). If he added a mid-post game to his repertoir, ala Kobe and Melo, he could add 4-8 ppg to his totals. With that, and added aggressiveness, he could add 3-5 more ppg from FT. Those extra points could get him in to the 25-28 ppg area. He could put up a line of 26-8-4 with 3 (stl+blk) per game. Those numbers would certainly put him in the top 5 argument.
Having said all that, the Pacers look pretty loaded and balanced (barring injuries) for the next few years, and I don't think they will need him to put up those kind of scoring numbers. Can he be top 5 if he's scoring 20ppg? My guess would be no. Top 10-15 maybe.
I honestly think he can be a 24-8-5 with multiple 1st/2nd Team All-Defense selections.
If Paul George doesn't improve any from now on, he will still go on to have a great career with multiple all-star appearances. He obviously will improve. I think he'll get stronger, improve his handle and his jumper. It's all about his work ethic and the will to get better. He has the talent to be a top 5 player in the league. The guy is still only 23 years old. He's in a great situation in Indiana with Vogel and Larry Bird. He has a low post threat in Hibbert and David West is coming back. I'm excited to see how much he progresses for the next couple years.