Paul George elects to re-sign with Thunder instead of joining Lakers

As Paul George and Jerami Grant return Thunder face largest tax bill

George committed to remain with the Thunder, according to multiple media reports.

George's relationship with Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has strengthened, and George expressed unhappiness about his own play down the stretch last season, saying, in Tuesday's ESPN segment, that he "left something on the table". "I'm here to stay".

George was connected to the Los Angeles Lakers for more than a year, but it appears as though he will commit to the Thunder without even taking a meeting with his hometown team. Oklahoma City would then pay a luxury-tax bill of more than $145 million - easily surpassing the previous record of $90-plus million for the 2013-14 Brooklyn Nets and bringing total payroll beyond $300 million.

From Oklahoma City's perspective, this was quite a coup.

Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder stands on the court during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on November 7, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Grant has averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 159 games with Oklahoma City.

Speaking to Los Angeles-based radio station, ESPN 710, yesterday, Lakers insider Ramona Shelburne revealed the belief that George would leave the Thunder this summer had now been reduced to a "hail Mary" effort for the Lakers' front office. The Thunder traded for him as a way to begin a year-long recruitment of George with the hope of signing him to a long-term contract.

Unless another team surpasses the Thunder this season (which is possible, given where the league's finances are going) that would easily make Oklahoma City the most expensive team in National Basketball Association history.

George, the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has become one of the premier two-way players in the league.

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