George not tipping hand about free agency plans
NBA.com Global on Apr 08, 2018 08:03 AM
FILE - OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - NOVEMBER 10: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks to pass against the LA Clippers on November 10, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
The regular season is drawing to a close and Oklahoma City has no additional clues, one way or another, regarding Paul George and his future.
Evidently, George is sticking to his original plan to wait until the Thunder are done playing, whenever that will be, and then take a few weeks to decide his fate as an unrestricted free agent. George hasn’t veered from that blueprint whenever asked about his decision.
Of course, the options are rich and rewarding. He can stay in OKC and make more money than anywhere else. Or join a contender in another city. Or sign with his hometown team, the Lakers, which is where the basketball world believes he’ll end up.
Regardless, George isn’t tipping his hand and repeated that OKC has been a nice one-year stay so far, and that nothing will change that, even if the Thunder miss the playoffs or make a quick exit.
“I can see myself being here," George said. "I've been happy here, I've been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates. Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I've enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So my answer is still the same. I'm not going to let the playoffs or how we finish this season persuade or indicate where I'm going to this offseason. I'm going to put everything into this and again, I can definitely see myself being here.”
George, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has remained consistent in praising the Thunder organization since it traded for him last July. But with the Thunder's season going through some considerable ups and downs, and now the possibility of missing the postseason altogether in play, George attempted to alleviate some of the pressure.
"This is our first year together. This is Year 1 for this group," he said. "We've got a chance to win it all, but realistically it takes time for things to build and chemistry to mesh. Just for everybody to be on the same page. So this wasn't a championship or bust coming into this for me. It was just an opportunity to see what it's like being here and just to naturally fall in love with it. And it's been that. It's been a lot of love here."