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Report: Thunder 'Fully Committed' to Keeping Paul George Ahead of Free Agency

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2018

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 7: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the game against the Phoenix Suns on January 7, 2018 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/Getty Images

Despite their disappointing 22-18 record, the Oklahoma City Thunder have no plans to trade Paul George ahead of February's trade deadline.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reported the Thunder remain fully committed to keeping George in the fold in hopes of re-signing him this summer.

George, 27, will be an unrestricted free agent in July and has been pegged as a Los Angeles Lakers target for more than a year. The Indiana Pacers traded him to Oklahoma City seemingly in part due to fear over George's desire to play for the Lakers.

George is from the Los Angeles area and grew up a Lakers fan. He's also not been shy about his affinity for the franchise.

"Like I said, at the end of the day, only I would know, in terms of what's the right move in terms of where we place, where we finish, how I feel, together," George said Thursday, per NBA.com's David Aldridge. "I'm not going to leave a team where…at the end of the day, all I wanted was to win. That's what I wanted in Indiana; I wanted to win, and win at a high level.

"So I will determine that once this season is up. I like what we have here. I love this locker room, I love this organization. They've been unbelievable. Teaming up with Russ has been unbelievable. I think everybody knows where, ultimately, I stated where I wanted to play. But at the same time, I'm putting all that aside. I'm happy where I'm at. I'm happy with this situation."

The Thunder acquired George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason in hopes of creating a title contender. The results have not been what they expected, with the team sitting a disappointing fifth place in the Western Conference and nowhere near title contention.

Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, the players traded to Indiana for George, have meanwhile thrived during their first season with the Pacers. Oladipo has emerged as a potential All-Star, and Sabonis is developing into a future starter in his own right.

George's numbers have declined in nearly every category as he's tried to acclimate playing next to Anthony and Russell Westbrook.

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