Paul George re-upping in Oklahoma City could inspire other teams

Source Thunder’s Paul George decides to become free agent

Source Thunder’s Paul George decides to become free agent

The star forward seemed destined for Los Angeles last year when it was reported the Lakers were his preference, but after a year with the Thunder, George apparently is seriously considering giving it another go with Russell Westbrook and Co. The Thunder traded for him as a way to begin a year-long recruitment of George with the hope of signing him to a long-term contract.

"I am stunned! I am as stunned by this contract as I was with the Oklahoma City Thunder ..."

That's almost a $300 million investment for next season. But as analysts and reporters, many of us believe that this was the wrong choice for George as he doesn't have the greatest chance to contend for a title as the team is not constructed correctly.

George declined to exercise his player option for 2018-19, making him an unrestricted free agent as of midnight. Paul George is coming back, Carmelo Anthony has opted-in to his contract, and LeBron James was never going to happen.

About the same time, ESPN's ultimate National Basketball Association insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted the following: "Paul George has committed to sign a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources have told ESPN". While he's reached the Finals four straight years since returning to Cleveland, they've been beaten three times by Golden State and look to have plateaued.

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Also citing "unfinished business" in staying put was Houston Rockets star point guard Paul, who tweeted "UNFINISHED BUSINESS..." He averaged 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds off the bench last season, seeing his playing time increase in the playoffs versus Utah. The Nuggets are reportedly trying to take their shot at a meeting with James, but for now let's focus on the original four teams in the mix and where they stand after LeBron's opt-out and the first few dominos to fall in free agency.

Simmons and James are represented by the same agent. Embiid's opinion notwithstanding, the Lakers are James' team now.

In moves calculated to address the possible loss of Leonard in a trade, the Spurs agreed to deals Saturday with free agents Rudy Gay (one year, $10 million) and Marco Belinelli of the Philadelphia 76ers (two years, $12 million).

A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Gordon agreed Sunday night to a four-year, $82 million deal to remain with the Magic.

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