Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

In ESPN series finale, George calls move to Thunder 'a handsome thing'

In ESPN series finale, George calls move to Thunder 'a handsome thing'

Paul George has reportedly committed to re-signing with the Thunder, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Doing so and filling Singler's roster spot with a player signed for the veteran's minimum would shave almost $15 million off the Oklahoma City tax bill and save the team about $17 million overall. Barring an extension, which is possible, he could exercise his option to become a free agent again in the summer of 2021 - and even then he'll just be 31. However, considering all the chatter that surrounded George before the Thunder traded for him last summer, the fact that he's not on the Los Angeles Lakers right now is shocking.

His decision was vindication for Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who acquired George last June in the hope that his spending a season in Oklahoma City would get him to commit beyond one year.

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This chain of events immediately brought to mind one of the few overriding issues in this National Basketball Association offseason that carries more weight than George's decision - the fate of Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.

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Paul George aims to win a ring with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many teams have expressed interest in the future Hall of Famer, but the top two teams seem to be the newly revamped Philadelphia 76ers and the youthfully talented Los Angeles Lakers team. But it worked, on the court and off, and that bond is necessary if the Thunder are going to challenge Golden State and Houston for Western Conference supremacy anytime soon. Russ is not LeBron James, or any of the other stars the Lakers are convinced they will add to their roster.

The 28-year-old had been reported as considering joining his home town Lakers, who remain the favourites to sign James after he opted out of his Cleveland Cavaliers contract.

This offseason has already been a compelling one, but it's about to reach a new level with free agency getting under way at midnight on Saturday (EST, 08:00 UAE time). Conversely, speculation pointed to James signing with the Lakers. A young team with cap space such as the Magic could certainly afford to take on Melo's salary and demand other assets in return to expedite their rebuild. Their friendship was enough to get the five-time All-Star to agree to the four-year deal, which includes a player option on the fourth year. "I wanted to come here a year ago prior to going to OKC".

Orlando recently re-signed the high-flying Aaron Gordon to a four year, $84 million contract, and have made him the face of the franchise.

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