Paul George Reportedly Agrees to Contract with Thunder Despite Lakers Rumors

Paul George Reportedly Agrees to Contract with Thunder Despite Lakers Rumors

Paul George Reportedly Agrees to Contract with Thunder Despite Lakers Rumors

George denying the Lakers is a surprise, to say the least, though there had been a growing sense he would remain in Oklahoma City.

But in a fresh twist today, George was spotted dining at an upmarket restaurant, Catch, in Los Angeles by ESPN reporter Arash Markazi. He also spoke very highly of the Thunder and their front office group, and at one point he indicated he feels inclined to reward them for taking a chance by trading for him.

George is also rumored to be considering signing with the Lakers and 76ers. The Pacers found a trade partner in the Thunder, who took a considerable risk betting that a partnership with Russell Westbrook would convince George to stay, sending a future All-Star and recent lottery pick back to in in return.

Note that a general manager told Wojnarowski that he believes the Lakers could win about 45 games next season even if they just bring back the same core.

Paul George seems to really be conflicted about what he wants to do in free agency and the only two teams that seem to have a shot at signing him are the OKC Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers. It would certainly help if they're successful in luring LeBron James and/or concluding a trade for Kawhi Leonard. A Southern California native, Leonard reportedly wants to defect to the Lakers, but that team has a hard choice to make in terms of how many assets to offer the Spurs in a trade, as opposed to possibly being able to wait a year and sign him in free agency. Growing up in California, he has long stated his desire to suit up for the Lakers and has been linked heavily to the hometown team in Los Angeles.

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George, a five-time All-Star, has one year left (option year) on a five-year, $91.5 million contract signed with the Pacers prior to the 2014-15 campaign.

George may opt to sign a short-term deal, either with the Thunder or someplace else. The best option, they say, is more options.

George averaged 18.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals during his seven seasons in Indiana.

With George in Oklahoma City, the Thunder will likely have the first opportunity to speak with him when National Basketball Association teams can officially begin negotiations with free agents at 11:01 p.m. central Saturday.

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