Earlier this week, Paul George declared that he has unfinished business with the Oklahoma City Thunder and dropped a huge hint that he may re-sign with the franchise when he hits free agency.
According to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, this will not come as a surprise around the league as many teams are already expecting him to commit his future to OKC.
But the small forward has already informed the Thunder that he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent on July 1.
He's still assessing his options and is not believed to have come to a decision yet as he's expecting to speak to multiple teams.
The hometown team
The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be the biggest threat to the Thunder as they've held an interest in the five-time All-Star for over a year now.
George previously stated that he has a desire to move back to his hometown of L.A. but that view may have softened after spending a year in Oklahoma City.
As a Southern California native, the pull of returning to Tinseltown is strong for PG13 but he's motivated by winning a championship and believes staying with OKC and playing alongside Russell Westbrook could give him the best chance to do that.
"At the end of the day, that's all I want to do, I want to be a champion," he told Dwyane Wade in a conversation as part of an exclusive ESPN series on George's free agency.
"In a way it's like, I want to come here (Los Angeles), I want to play for the home team and put a Laker jersey on. That's always gonna be something that I want to fulfill.
"But at the same time, it's like, what's the best move? I know who I am as a player. I just want to help a team win. And I feel comfortable doing so with Russ."
This is definitely the biggest indication that the 28-year-old is likely to stay with the Thunder next season.
The Lakers haven't made the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, so convincing the veteran that they'll be title contenders next season will be difficult.
Their best chance of doing so would be to bring in at least one more marquee name. It would certainly help if they're successful in luring LeBron James and/or concluding a trade for Kawhi Leonard.
But having formed a strong relationship with Westbrook and praised the organisation on multiple occasions, it would be no surprise if George elects to stay with the Thunder and puts his Los Angeles dream on hold.
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