George commits to sign deal to stay in OKC

Paul George

George, who played the first seven seasons of his eight-year career with the Pacers, averaged 21.9 points per game in 79 games last season, above his career average of 18.6.

By sticking around, though, George ensured the Thunder will remain relevant for the foreseeable future.

George will be an unrestricted free agent at midnight ET after declining his player option on Thursday. After all, he let the whole city of Los Angeles down.

Another sure thing: That the Thunder, while not a Super Team per se, have super pieces.

The 5-time All-Star made the announcement at a house party in Oklahoma City hosted by teammate Russell Westbrook.

Known as a hustler-rebounder for his first two National Basketball Association seasons, Harrell showed an ability to score in bunches previous year as a Clippers reserve, averaging a career-high 11.0 points per game.

They speak with great respect for one another. Still, Lakers fans will appreciate all he does if he wins them a championship and rights a ship that has been running with leaks in it since Phil Jackson retired as coach after the 2010-11 season.

It's not just those two.

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Plenty of signs indicate Thunder fans might be about to receive some very good news. They're getting Andre Roberson back, probably in time to start next season after this past season ended prematurely because of a ruptured patellar tendon.

Kevin Durant will re-sign with Golden State for two years, the New York Times reported, keeping the two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player with a club that has won three of the past four crowns and seeks a fifth consecutive trip to the finals next year.

George kept dropping hints all spring.

While the reason for the party wasn't clear, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski pointed to something else going on in Oklahoma City on Friday. The more he said it, the more it seemed like he wasn't just spewing the company line. What they really care about is improving their own rosters.

The most obvious possibility would be to do something with Carmelo Anthony and his $27.9 million expiring contract. Grant can agree to his new contract but cannot sign it until after July 6 as part of the NBA's July moratorium.

Representatives from the team will meet in Los Angeles with James' agent Rich Paul on Sunday, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. That the Thunder could convince George to stay.

More to the point, LeBron must love him and he'll take a one-year deal. Philadelphia would instantly vault from conference contender to favorite with James, who could make a strong run at his ninth straight Finals in Year One. George was smart enough to see that.