Thunder's Paul George decides to become free agent

Paul George will reportedly opt out of his contract and become a free agent

Paul George has committed to sign with the Thunder, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Projecting Grant's new deal as starting around $9 million if he re-signs and filling out the roster with minimum-salary contracts for the Thunder's three 2018 second-round picks (who will help save money if signed to National Basketball Association contracts) would push the team salary to more than $159 million.

Whether he makes a swift deal to remain in Oklahoma City or takes his time deciding, the Los Angeles Lakers offer plenty of appeal for George.

With George re-signed and Carmelo Anthony under contract for next season, the Thunder are headed for a monumental payroll and luxury-tax bill, something ownership is prepared to pay. The 24-year-old forward has made great strides during his two seasons in Oklahoma City, and he figures to play a big part in where the team goes from here.

The season didn't go as planned, however, as Anthony underachieved and Westbrook had to carry the team on his back for many games.

George, a native of Southern California, and LeBron James are the focus of the Lakers free agent recruiting efforts. Most national analysts expected him to be a victim of the high cost of Oklahoma City's roster. He is staying in Oklahoma City.

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George had spoken out about the free agency process and said his decision would be based on multiple factors.

"At the end of the day, that's what I want to do".

George declined to exercise his player option for 2018-19, making him an unrestricted free agent as of midnight.

Paul George is headed back to Oklahoma City. His future is under the control of the San Antonio Spurs front office, which can determine where he would be traded - if they choose to deal him at all.

George scored 21.9 points a night during the regular season - his lowest total in three years - while shooting 43 per cent from the field.

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