Lakers Dodged A Bullet Missing Out On Paul George

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On the same day that LeBron James travelling to Los Angeles put Vegas oddmakers in a tizzy, James' fellow elite free agent Paul George might be making some travel news of his own.

ESPN is reporting that George met with team management and the ownership group Saturday night and they agreed to a four-year, $137 million deal with a player option. Here are five reasons he should sign with Los Angeles, beginning with the off-court appeal of L.A. and his budding brand.

"This is a friendship decision to stay in OKC as much as anything", one rival executive said about the friendship between George and Westbrook.

Teams and players can not formally sign contracts until July 6.

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By trading for George, the Thunder took a huge risk as it was all but assumed that he would sign with the Lakers in free agency.

So while bringing back George and potentially Grant would ensure the Thunder keep their core intact, it likely means more moves are coming to mitigate what could be a historic luxury-tax bill.

"I don't think Paul George would have returned to OKC if the roster was going to be the same", one player told HoopsHype.

The Thunder have spent all year trying to convince George to stay in Oklahoma City rather than head west for Los Angeles.

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The 76ers were interested in pursuing the five-time National Basketball Association all-star to play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, according to sources.

That narrative seemingly only grew stronger following an underwhelming first season playing alongside Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony with the Thunder, but how things have changed in the past few days. He said the organization saw an opportunity to acquire a superstar player like George and didn't think twice about it. That enabled him to get more money as a free agent.

George played last season with the Thunder, averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

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