Paul George seems pleased the NBA’s reigning MVP Russell Westbrook agreed to a five-year, $205 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Paul George is new to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the 5-year extension signed by teammate Russell Westbrook may help keep him around.
Around this time last year, the future of the Oklahoma City Thunder was up in the air. Star point guard Russell Westbrook signed an extension, but it gave him an opt-out option for next summer. Now, the MVP point guard is committed through the 2022-2023 campaign.
With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony having the option to leave next summer, Westbrook’s act of commitment should only help. When George was asked about it, he provided some telling information, via ESPN.
“We’ve been on an unbelievable start right now, and for him to be committed here, it says a lot. Not only in us pairing together, but just knowing what type of dude Russ is and his values and his beliefs and him being committed to this organization says a lot. And I’m one person that’s enjoying it here, so I think when that time comes, the decision will be easier to make for myself.”
This doesn’t mean George is staying for sure, but Thunder fans should be ecstatic. If Westbrook went the entire season without signing on the dotted line, George’s decision to leave may have been made much easier. However, if he really enjoys playing alongside Westbrook, why leave?
This isn’t the news Los Angeles Lakers fans want to hear. There was a wide assumption George would be bolting to Los Angeles next summer, which is still a possibility. For now, George is just focused on the present.
“From the commitment from the front office all the way down to Russ, the commitment here is off the charts,” George said.
The pending decision for George may depend on how well or poorly the Thunder (and the pair) perform this season. Let’s say OKC loses in a tough seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors, would George want to leave that? No one is expecting a championship, but a trip to the conference finals is very obtainable.
George has played in two conference finals, so he’s familiar with the taste of playing in big moments. If he’s able to taste that again, it’d be hard to leave. Especially with Westbrook and Melo by your side this time around.