Paul George on Free Agency: "I Pictured Myself In A Lakers Jersey"

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Paul George not only committed to Oklahoma City next season, he committed for at least three more seasons. No matter what they do with Anthony, George staying keeps OKC competitive.

The general assumption was that George would be sitting down with the Lakers to plan out a future with the Los Angeles team, so his decision to stay locked down with the Thunder naturally came as a shock. This is a party that members of the Thunder front office will reportedly attend and - who knows - possibly George himself. Since the Thunder received George's Bird Rights via the Indiana Pacers trade, they were able to offer him more money than any other team along with an extra year.

According to a KOCO 5 News report in Oklahoma City, the National Basketball Association star chose to stay with the Thunder for another season. Around the league, though, there is skepticism about Oklahoma City's willingness to go quite to this extreme.

George has the option of signing a short deal with OKC or sign a five-year max contract paying him roughly $176 million.

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He arrived via trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in November 2016 in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova and a 2020 top-20 protected first-round pick.

George forced his way out of IN past year by telling the Pacers he planned to become a free agent this summer and sign with the Lakers. Now, it appears as though George opted to sign a long-term deal with the organization.

In 79 games, he averaged 21.9 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Thunder.

The Thunder finished last season with a 48-34 record and earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Oklahoma City would then pay a luxury-tax bill of more than $145 million - easily surpassing the previous record of $90-plus million for the 2013-14 Brooklyn Nets and bringing total payroll beyond $300 million.

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