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Paul George signed a four-year, $136.9 million contract this summer to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder, shocking many around the league.
For the last two years, every rumor stated that George was intent on going home and playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and after the Thunder lost to the Utah Jazz in the first-round of the 2018 playoffs, pretty much everyone surmised there was no way George would go back to OKC since the club underwhelmed.
That turned out not to be the case, as the Thunder did a great job of selling George on their future and the All-Star swingman liked playing with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams and for coach Billy Donovan.
Veteran forward Corey Brewer, who joined the Thunder for the rest of the 2017-18 season in March, had a feeling all along George would stay in OKC.
“I had a feeling that he was going to go back,” Brewer said on the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. “He was enjoying himself. He was having fun. It was a good situation for him. They like each other. People make it like ‘Oh, people don’t like playing with Russ.’ But Russ is a great guy. When you’re on his team you realize you want to play with him. I guess from the outside looking in you think ‘Oh, he does this, he does that.’ But he’s a great guy and a great teammate.”
In his first season with the Thunder, George averaged 21.9 points during the regular-season while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. He underwent two procedures this summer: one on his right elbow and another on his left knee.
George had 18 to 20 ounces of fluid drained from his right elbow and also underwent a scope procedure on his left knee.
Besides retaining George, the Thunder acquired Dennis Schroder and Timothe Luwawu–Cabarrot, and signed big man Nerlens Noel. The departure of Carmelo Anthony should make the Thunder’s offense more effective. OKC had an offensive rating of 98.6 when Anthony was on the court during the postseason compared to 116.8 when he was on the bench.