Paul George would "love to remain" with the Thunder next season

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz - Game Three

Now that the Oklahoma City Thunder's season has come to a disappointingly early end, the attention immediately switches to the future of Paul George. 

The five-time All-Star will hit free agency this summer and the rumours are now intensifying about where he'll be playing next season. 

It was always believed that his chances of staying with OKC were dependant on how they would perform in the playoffs and if they could make a deep playoff run. 

Having failed to make it past the opening round, Thunder fans are worried that they may have seen the small forward play his last game for them.

But in his exit interview on Saturday, George didn't rule out the possibility of staying with Oklahoma City and re-signing for the 2018-19 season. 

"There was a lot to be happy about: the fans, the city, the organisation," George said, per CBS Sports. "Everything has been unbelievable. It's too soon. I'd love to remain a Thunder, but that's what this summer is for. We'll address that in the summer."

The 27-year-old was traded to the Thunder from the Indiana Pacers last summer and has had an up and down year. 

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz - Game Six

Despite the campaign ending earlier than he would've hoped, he spoke glowingly of his experience with the franchise. 

"It was an amazing season," said George. "Really, a learning experience playing off of [Westbrook], playing off of [Anthony]. [Steven Adams]. Seeing what the potential was like having [Roberson] out there. It was great."

The All-NBA man has made no secret of his desire to one day play for the Los Angeles Lakers and return to his hometown. 

He pushed for a trade to L.A. from the Pacers before he ended up with OKC and is continually being linked with a move to the Purple and Gold. 

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz - Game Six

There's no doubt that the interest is mutual as the Lakers have freed up two max contract slots and are ready to aggressively pursue him in the offseason when free agency begins. 

But PG13 has made it clear that even though he would love to play at home, that will not be the determining factor in his decision. 

"I would say almost everybody in this league would have loved to play at home," George said. "I won't say that's a lie. Everybody would love to play for their home in one way or another. But that won't be -- that's not like the only option for why I want to go somewhere is because it's home. Not at all."

He will now have two months to think about his future and where he wants to be long-term. Thunder fans will be happy to know that there's still a great chance of him staying but it'll be an agonising wait. 

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