Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Paul George commits to re-sign with OKC Thunder

Paul George commits to re-sign with OKC Thunder

The NBA free agency season is off to a fiery start with Paul George silencing rumours of a move to Los Angeles by confirming he's committed to signing a new deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Paul George is headed back to Oklahoma City.

According to sources, and a clip floating around the Internet, George made the announcement while at a house party at teammate Russell Westbrook's home declaring, "If y'all didn't quite get it, let me say it again, I'm here to stay".

There had been the growing notion over the last several days that George was leaning toward staying with the Thunder despite the constant chatter that he had some strong interest in joining the Los Angeles Lakers, who were long believed to be the favorites to land the All-Star forward.

There had been much speculation leading up to the decision that George had been leaning toward re-signing with the Thunder. Worse yet, Oklahoma City would be paying the tax for the fourth time in five years, meaning falling into the more punitive category of repeat taxpayers.

The deal won't become official until the league's annual moratorium on free agent signings ends July 6, but George's decision removes one of the best free agents from the market.

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The third year of the deal is a player option.

The 76ers were interested in pursuing the five-time National Basketball Association all-star to play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, according to sources.

Last year, Oklahoma City traded for PG13 when the free agency period began. Anthony will be completely overpaid, but at least the Thunder will be able to field a compelling team. Oklahoma City could face the largest tax bill in National Basketball Association history, according to ESPN.

Chris Paul, meanwhile, was traded in exchange for 8 players by the Clippers last summer after he opted into the final year of his 5-year, $107-million deal with them.

George listed other possibilities - Boston and the Clippers - but the seven-minute episode focused largely on his love for the Lakers and the pursuit by the Thunder to keep him in Oklahoma City.

During the season, George spoke openly about how he'd always wanted to play for the Lakers, but also was keeping an open mind about the Thunder.

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