Jerami Grant Also Returning to the Thunder

Watch Paul George announce he's staying in OKC on stage with Russell Westbrook

George opted out of his contract with OKC and became an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, per USA TODAY Sports.

George could also sign a "one-and-one" or a "two-and-one" contract with the Thunder, which would give him the option of re-entering free agency following next season or the following season. Los Angeles appears to be the front-runner for LeBron James, but George elected to stay with the Thunder and Russell Westbrook.

The general assumption was that George would be sitting down with the Lakers to plan out a future with the Los Angeles team, so his decision to stay locked down with the Thunder naturally came as a shock. Maxing out George will push the Thunder far over the luxury-tax line if they re-sign key reserve Jerami Grant. It was unclear at that time how many years George would re-sign for, but it will be for four years, according to Wojnarowski.

The Lakers seemed intent on landing two max players this summer, but they absolutely won by not landing George for $30-plus million a year. The hope in Oklahoma City is that this year, they'll mesh together and become a significant threat in the National Basketball Association.

More news: Pompeo says no timeline on North Korea negotiations

From Oklahoma City's perspective, this was quite a coup.

Looming over all of these decisions is a crucial question: Just how good does Oklahoma City project to be in 2018-19 after re-signing George? Anthony will be completely overpaid, but at least the Thunder will be able to field a compelling team.

Grant has averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 159 games with Oklahoma City.

That, plus hopefully getting Andre Roberson back healthy after he suffered a season-ending knee injury back in January, could put the Thunder in position to be a significant factor again in the Western Conference.

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