Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Paul George Signs 4-Year $137 million Contract with OKC Thunder

Paul George Signs 4-Year $137 million Contract with OKC Thunder

He tweeted: "Paul George has agreed to a four-year, $137M max contract with the Thunder, league source tells ESPN". Most of us had thought he would sign with the Lakers to play with his hometown team and LeBron James.

George declined his $20.7 option with the Thunder and entered will soon enter free agency, but that move was widely expected. All those questions - mostly variations of "how will this work?" - got answered when the Thunder went 40-22 in the final 62 games of the regular season, George got his numbers (nearly 22 points per game) and Westbrook got his again as well (averaging a triple-double).

The 33-year-old had previously said he wanted to finish his career in OH, and although he's leaving home again, Cleveland fans are more forgiving after he ended the city's 52-year sports championship drought in 2016.

The odds may seem against any non-Lakers destination interested in Kawhi, but if the small market Thunder can keep Paul George then maybe another team could do the same with Kawhi Leonard. 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. But it worked, on the court and off, and that bond is necessary if the Thunder are going to challenge Golden State and Houston for Western Conference supremacy anytime soon. It means contending for championships. Without further ado, this is where the top 10 free agents are going (in my opinion). While there was a ton of speculation about George heading home to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson and company dodged a bullet by not bringing PG to LA.

Free agency began at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

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.

James spent the week vacationing in Anguilla, and hopped aboard a private Gulfstream jet in the morning to fly to the Los Angeles area. There is concern for any front office looking into Leonard that he might hold a grudge against a team that trades for him, unless that team is the Lakers.

For Dallas, persistence paid off. Their friendship was enough to get the five-time All-Star to agree to the four-year deal, which includes a player option on the fourth year. Former teammate Blake Griffin and coach Doc Rivers were part of a contingent that went to his house and stayed with him until the deal was official.

Orlando recently re-signed the high-flying Aaron Gordon to a four year, $84 million contract, and have made him the face of the franchise.

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