Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Re-signing Paul George was one pricey proposition for the Thunder (Sportsnaut)

Re-signing Paul George was one pricey proposition for the Thunder (Sportsnaut)

He'd made that clear a year ago before the Pacers put him on the trade market in earnest, and in doing so, dinged his own trade value as some teams simply assumed he would soon sign with the Lakers.

The Thunder have spent all year trying to convince George to stay in Oklahoma City rather than head west for Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Durant, the NBA's new movable feast, just left $100 million on the table in Golden State, declining the security of a four-year $160 million contract for two years and $61.5 million - with an opt-out next summer. If he had elected to go with a two-year deal, he could have been a free agent again next summer with the player option.

And all those clubs - Golden State, Oklahoma City, Houston, the Lakers, even Denver by locking up Nikola Jokic for $150 million and Will Barton for $54 million - could definitively say they were thrilled.

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Should James play out the lifetime of his contract it will take him through an age-37 season.

The Lakers are being connected to a lot of the big names out there like James, George and Kawhi Leonard, but what about Boogie? George averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 79 games for the Thunder last season. According to Lawrence George of Fansided's Thunderous Intentions, the Thunder could try offering Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets. In his second time with the Cavaliers, he signed one-year deals, always leaving the option open to come back, which he did three times. And that could indeed be the case as many National Basketball Association officials are convinced James, George and Leonard will be playing for the Lakers next season.

George would be 35 years of age if he did choose to remain with the Thunder for seven seasons, which is when the contract would expire. But the Lakers will instantly rise with James, a three-time champion who after being swept by the Warriors in this year's NBA Finals said he is still driven and very much in "championship mode". If the buyout does indeed happen, the Lakers might be able to get him for cheap.

While most of today's Los Angeles Lakers rumors have involved LeBron James, another free agent the team may be targeting is DeMarcus Cousins. James loves the Hollywood lights, and with two homes in the Los Angeles area as well as a film production company, he has already established some roots in the land of movie stars and slow-moving traffic. George took the stage at that party, grabbed a microphone and delivered four words that shocked many. There's also a difference in personalities, and that's where things get tricky for a team thinking about taking an OKC-type gamble.

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