George not ruling out remaining with OKC after this season

One of the biggest names to hit the open market come July will be Paul George.

Across the landscape of the NBA, it is believed George will land in one of two places — Los Angeles or Oklahoma City, where he is playing this season — with Los Angeles, George’s hometown, being the perceived frontrunner.

However, George, traded last summer from Indiana to Oklahoma City, told Royce Young of ESPN he can see himself remaining with the Thunder.

“As I told [ESPN’s] Rachel [Nichols], I can see myself being here,” George said. “I’ve been happy here, I’ve been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates. Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I’ve enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So my answer is still the same — I’m not going to let the playoffs or how we finish this season persuade or indicate where I’m going to this offseason. I’m going to put everything into this and again, I can definitely see myself being here.”

George, 27, is averaging 21.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals in 36.6 minutes in 76 games this season for the Thunder (45-34), who stand seventh in the Western Conference standings entering play Saturday.

“This is our first year together. This is Year 1 for this group,” George said. “We’ve got a chance to win it all, but realistically, it takes time for things to build and chemistry to mesh. Just for everybody to be on the same page.

“So this wasn’t a championship-or-bust coming into this for me. It was just an opportunity to see what it’s like being here and just to naturally fall in love with it. And it’s been that. It’s been a lot of love here.”