Paul George: Watch NBA star CONFIRM Thunder move at Russell Westbrook party

03 July, 2018, 06:44 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

For the past year, it was apparently a foregone conclusion that Paul George was going to become a Los Angeles Laker when his contract expired in the summer of 2018.

George, considered a possible target for the Los Angeles Lakers in a bid to lure Cleveland star James, was captured on video at a party at teammate Russell Westbrook's home saying he would stay in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Paul George is staying put.

Rumor: League executives believe James could join the Lakers at the start of free agency and let the rest of the pieces come together later. If he had elected to go with a two-year deal, he could have been a free agent again next summer with the player option.

His father, Harvey, and uncle, Horace, both played in the National Basketball Association.

From Oklahoma City's perspective, this was quite a coup. The deal reportedly carries a player option on the final season.

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After acquiring Carmelo Anthony in September, the Thunder appeared to have formed a superteam with the then-reigning MVP.

And two other big names in free agency - Oklahoma City's Paul George and Houston's Chris Paul - have chose to stay put.

Conventional wisdom suggested for many months that LeBron James would sign with the Lakers only if they could add another top-tier free agent and lure a third player in a trade in order to form a "super team" capable of challenging the Golden State Warriors for National Basketball Association supremacy.

George would be 35 years of age if he did choose to remain with the Thunder for seven seasons, which is when the contract would expire.

So while bringing back George and potentially Grant would ensure the Thunder keep their core intact, it likely means more moves are coming to mitigate what could be a historic luxury-tax bill. The team could significantly reduce their tax bill if they waive him via the stretch provision. Golden State pulled off a massive surprise, agreeing to terms with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins on a one-year, $5.3 million deal. Playing with Westbrook, George enjoyed one of his best 3-point shooting seasons to date, hitting the highest total of his career on 40.1 percent shooting.

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