All-Star forward Paul George, considered one of the most prized commodities on the free agent market this offseason, has signed a max contract to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Paul George will be a member of the Thunder for the foreseeable future.
Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on March 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
George clearly enjoyed playing alongside superstar guard Russell Westbrook and decided that was going to be the best path for him. This is a year after PG said he wanted to go to Los Angeles, so credit to Westy and the OKC guys to pry him away. Maxing out George will push the Thunder far over the luxury-tax line if they re-sign key reserve Jerami Grant. Oklahoma City could face the largest tax bill in National Basketball Association history, according to ESPN. Add in the rights to the three players Oklahoma City landed in the second round of the NBA Draft (Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Hervey and Devon Hall) and a player on a minimum contract, and the Thunder would be looking at a total payroll of about $151 million. Doing so and filling Singler's roster spot with a player signed for the veteran's minimum would shave almost $15 million off the Oklahoma City tax bill and save the team about $17 million overall.
On Thursday, June 28, George told the Thunder he is not opting into his final year on his contract and would become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
Beyond that, the Thunder would likely have to trade rotation players to save money next season. Anthony has a no-trade clause, but a trade that could precede a buyout to play elsewhere next season could be a move Anthony would welcome.
George averaged 18.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals during his seven seasons in Indiana.