Paul George Hopes to Make 'Majority of People Happy' with Free-Agency Decision

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) looks on in the second half during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 115-102. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George confirmed he'll decline the player option in his contract to become an unrestricted free agent and will listen to pitches from NBA teams.

On Tuesday, Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman passed along comments George made about his impending trip to the open market in the first installment of Paul George: My Journey, a three-part mini-documentary airing on ESPN's SportsCenter.

"I hope I make the majority of the people happy," he said. "But ultimately it's my decision, and I want to be the happiest I can be with that decision. And I'm excited. I'm excited to go through this journey."

The 28-year-old California native called the entire situation "overwhelming" and said there are "a lot" of different factors that will go into his final decision, per Dawson.

"Here they have made a huge risk in trading for me, knowing I have one year on my deal," George said about the Thunder. "But I felt I didn't finish as strong as I could have. Just knowing you left something on the table, even to this point now, it weighs on me."

He didn't provide any clues about which teams could challenge OKC for his signature.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been the most frequently speculated landing spot for the five-time All-Star.

Covers noted Tuesday that the Lakers are the favorites (-150) to sign George, followed by the Thunder (+175) and the Los Angeles Clippers (+575).

"I would say almost everybody in this league would love to play at home," George told reporters in April. "I won't say that's a lie. Everybody would love to play for their home in one way or another, but that won't be the only option for why I want to go somewhere, is because it's home. Not at all."

His signing with the Lakers early in free agency could also bolster the team's chances in the LeBron James sweepstakes by giving the youthful roster more star power.