Party in OKC: George stays put

Party in OKC: George stays put

Per ESPN, George agreed to re-sign on a four-year, $137 million max contract with Oklahoma City. He was traded to the Thunder a year ago from the Indiana Pacers, but declined to exercise his player option with Oklahoma for 2018-19, making him an unrestricted free agent.

On PG's ESPN series "Paul George: My Journey", the conflicted star sat down with Dwyane Wade and told him he always dreamed of wearing the Lakers' Purple and Gold, but at the same time, he feels good about continuing to go to war with Russell Westbrook in OKC. "We can bring it home". The one exception would be waiving Kyle Singler and stretching the remaining $5 million guaranteed on his contract over the next five seasons, reducing his cap hit to a little less than $1 million. George smiled. Westbrook heard them and interrupted with a scowl, yelling, "Paul ain't going nowhere!"

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George opted out of his contract with OKC and became an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, per USA TODAY Sports. He informed the Pacers' front office about his intent to do so, allowing them to shop him in trades.

"Let me say again I am here to stay", the American broadcaster reported George as saying. Ultimately, the move ended up with the Thunder placing fourth in the Western Conference with a 48-34 record in the 2017-2018 season.

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The Rockets will look to keep their current core together, which means that Clint Capela is in for a big payday. Certainly, the Thunder are better positioned now than had George left via free agency, in which case Oklahoma City would still have been in the luxury tax with few options to improve an average roster. Grant was an important member of their small-ball lineups last season, and they would do well to re-sign him.

After the 2016-17 season, George grew frustrated with the Pacers' lack of roster improvements and requested a trade out of IN, with the Los Angeles Lakers his preferred destination. After all, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson figures to be a persuasive presence in free agent meetings.

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CP3's decision, on the other hand, comes as no surprise.

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