Paul George could sign one-plus-one deal with OKC

Since he requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers last season, it was assumed that eventually he’d end up donning the purple and gold (he’d said as much). It was thought that short of a run to the Finals or a championship, his time in Oklahoma City was a mere pit stop on his way to tinsel town.

A report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, casts some doubt on that alleged forgone conclusion.

Stein reports:

More than one rival team has suggested to me that they expect George to strongly consider a two-year deal with the Thunder at $30.3 million next season and $32.7 million in 2019-20 that includes a player option to return to free agency next summer.

A full five-year deal with the Thunder would be worth a guaranteed $176 million, as my trusted Twitter salary cap consultant @AlbertNahmad reminds me, but the short-term option does come with several potential benefits.

By signing what’s known as a “one-plus-one deal,” George would be giving himself more time to see how he likes Oklahoma City (and how the Thunder upgrade the roster) before making a longer commitment — while also locking in more than $60 million guaranteed as protection against another serious injury.

Last week Adrian Wojnarowski indicated the Thunder have a real shot at re-signing George:

Like LeBron James, any place he’d tell a team, ‘I’d like to come,’ they’d create salary cap space for him. But, Oklahoma City has done a great job on selling him on a future there. He liked playing with Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and Billy Donovan.

They have a real opportunity to keep him, but the Lakers are home. He grew up in L.A. and when he left Indiana, his plan was that he would be in L.A. in a year. So you have to credit Oklahoma City for really turning his head on that. … And Houston will be aggressive to try to see if there’s a way to get him there.

The Thunder may have chance to bring Paul George but there will undoubtedly be a slew of teams, the Lakers included, that will try to make a run at him. What he decides could reverberate throughout the NBA.

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