Paul George will reportedly opt out of his contract and become a free agent

Paul George is now officially one of NBA free agency’s hottest commodities.

The five-time All-Star has informed the Oklahoma City Thunder forward of his plans to decline the $20.7 million option on the final year of his current contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This comes as little surprise to anybody who has been following the past year of George’s career, which began with him informing the Indiana Pacers last summer that he intended to opt out of his deal in June and preferred to join his hometown Los Angeles Lakers. The Pacers found a trade partner in the Thunder, who took a considerable risk betting that a partnership with Russell Westbrook would convince George to stay, sending a future All-Star and recent lottery pick back to Indiana in return.

George indicated on multiple occasions that the bet was paying off, suggesting Westbrook’s longterm commitment to Oklahoma City and his steadfast support throughout the All-Star selection process were only two examples of why “Russ is the reason … this decision is becoming even easier to make.”

All the while, though, George continued to profess his love for the Lakers. Since his trade from Indiana, the Thunder and Lakers have always been considered the heavy favorites for George this summer, with the Philadelphia 76ers lurking as a dark-horse candidate, and that remains true now.

George can also sign a contract starting at $30.3 million for the 2018-19 season in free agency, which is really all we ever needed to know about why his decision to decline his player option was inevitable.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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