Monday, 23 July, 2018

Jerami Grant Returning to Thunder on 3-Year, $27 Million Deal

Paul George Edit Paul George opts out, but that doesn't mean he's leaving OKC
Sergio Cook | 01 July, 2018, 10:13

Because Paul George seems to be staying in Oklahoma City.

However, George told fans while on stage with fellow all-star Russell Westbrook at a party thrown in his honour in Oklahoma City that isn't the case. His re-signing is a clear message to George and All-Star guard Russell Westbrook about ownership's willingness to possibly host the largest payroll in National Basketball Association history. George can come to a verbal agreement beginning at midnight tonight, but cannot sign until July 6.

Were he to sign with any National Basketball Association team other than Oklahoma City, the max contract available to him would span four years and pay $130 million, $46 million less than the Thunder can pay him.

Without even taking a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Palmdale native committed to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly.

So while bringing back George and potentially Grant would ensure the Thunder keep their core intact, it likely means more moves are coming to mitigate what could be a historic luxury-tax bill. It was thought for a long time that George and fellow free agent star LeBron James could head to the Lakers together. Around the league, though, there is skepticism about Oklahoma City's willingness to go quite to this extreme. The hope in Oklahoma City is that this year, they'll mesh together and become a significant threat in the National Basketball Association.

The Clippers also will soon meet with guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who played for the Lakers last season, an executive said.

And her claims were corroborated by fellow hoops expert Brian Windhorst, who suggested "all signs" were pointing to George "remaining in Oklahoma City".

Grant was a key reserve for the Thunder last season scoring eight points (on 54 percent shooting) and four rebounds a contest in 20 minutes.

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