3 Stars for Thunder to go after in free agency this summer

Paul George and James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George and James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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No. 1: Paul George

The very best seasons of Paul George's career came with the Oklahoma City Thunder, including a season in 2018-19 when he finished third in MVP voting and third in Defensive Player of the Year voting. While many assume he left solely because he wanted to play in his hometown of Los Angeles, the writing was on the wall as to the future of the Thunder and he wanted to play for a contender.

George did re-sign in Oklahoma City, after all, signaling some amount of comfort with the organization. Would he be open to a return to continue pushing for titles? The LA Clippers have a penchant for ruining a good thing, and it's not that far-fetched to see Kawhi Leonard going down with yet another injury and robbing George of a chance at a playoff run.

That could drive him to the open market, and the Thunder make a lot of sense as a landing spot for him. They would need to clear out some more cap space to sign him, but in doing do they would add a player who is still playing at an All-Star level (if not better) and has a combination of scoring, shooting and defense that would allow him to play in virtually any lineup one could construct.

George can step in as the second offensive option alongside Gilgeous-Alexander, then cede more of the offense to Jalen Williams over the next few years. His shooting will age well and he can be a connecting piece instead of a lead piece as the rest of the roster grows up.

If George wants to join a team to be the top guy, he isn't going to choose the Thunder. If he wants to contend for a title, however, it's hard to find a team that makes more sense than Oklahoma City. Could a reunion truly be in the works for this summer?

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