Thunder Rumors: Paul George expected to bolt from OKC Thunder

Paul George, OKC Thunder, (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Paul George, OKC Thunder, (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Paul George may have already told a source he’s leaving the OKC Thunder

With the OKC Thunder complete what occurs in the offseason will be the focus and in particular what Paul George does in free agency.

As expected it took less than a week after the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs for the first notice of his exit hitting the airwaves. I say expected because there will be ample articles and podcasts coming out. Of note, pay attention to how many cite ‘sources close to the star say..’ Hey, with that type of source anyone could write an article stating they know what Paul George’s plans are.

With that, the first of these sure to be ample hot takes surface via Ryen Russilo.

Paul George’s free agency decision has been on the minds of Oklahoma City fans since getting bounced from the playoffs on Friday. Although there’s no official word yet, ESPN’s Ryen Russillo said his decisions has been made.

On his latest show Monday, Russilo said his sources confirmed that George is leaving Oklahoma City. Those rumors aren’t confirmed yet, so it’s not time to panic. But, this is the first word we’ve heard since the exit interview last week.

And I was like, ‘Where is he going then?'” Russilo said. “And the source said ‘All we know is that he’s gone.'”

This news counters what we heard at the press conference Saturday when George hinted towards staying.

“The fans, the love, the energy, everything has been amazing around here,” George said. “I have a lot to take with me and feel happy about.” – George

Russilo claims, however, his statement isn’t to be taken out of context.

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I know Royce Young said and I saw that coverage of it,” he said. “Royce is fantastic and would know better than I would because he’s there. But Paul George is also somebody who knows what to say. I wouldn’t trust anything he says.”

George’s player option for one more year in Oklahoma City is worth $20,703,384, but is likely on the outs according to this rumor.

George was acquired during the off season via trade with Indiana in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. With one guaranteed year on his contract and a player option for a second, many people speculated this was a rental all along.

In his lone season with the Thunder, George averaged 21.9 points per game. He also scored over 30 points in three of six playoff games against Utah. Defensively, George instrumental as well, with a defensive rating of 105.8. His upcoming decision will undoubtedly be a turning point for the Thunder’s franchise.