Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Re-signing Paul George was one pricey proposition for the Thunder (Sportsnaut)

As Paul George and Jerami Grant return Thunder face largest tax bill As Paul George and Jerami Grant return Thunder face largest tax bill
Eugene Bates | 01 July, 2018, 10:12

Once free agency started around the National Basketball Association late Saturday night or early Sunday morning (depending on where you live), George agreed to a four-year, $137 million max contract to remain with the Thunder.

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.

The Thunder are holding a party at the house of Russell Westbrook on the eve of free agency opening. No matter what they do with Anthony, George staying keeps OKC competitive. Most figured that he would ultimately return home to Los Angeles and sign with the Lakers.

The deal won't become official until the league's annual moratorium on free agent signings ends July 6, but George's decision removes one of the best free agents from the market.

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.

Keeping Grant on a $9 million annual salary could cost the Thunder an additional $40 million in luxury tax.

While the reason for the party wasn't clear, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski pointed to something else going on in Oklahoma City on Friday.

George agreed to a four-year, maximum contract worth $137 million.

He arrived via trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in November 2016 in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova and a 2020 top-20 protected first-round pick. The hope in Oklahoma City is that this year, they'll mesh together and become a significant threat in the National Basketball Association.

Not only did George commit longterm to Oklahoma City, he didn't even give the Lakers a meeting this offseason.

Last season, Grant averaged 8.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game on 53.5 percent shooting from the field, including 29.1 percent from three.

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