Paul George has informed the Oklahoma City Thunder he will become a free agent this weekend, declining his $20.7-million option for next season, according to a source who was not authorized to speak publicly.
George, whom the Lakers will pursue, still could return to the Thunder.
He spent last season in Oklahoma City after being traded there from Indiana. Last year, George told the Pacers, with whom he'd spent his whole career, that he planned to opt out in the summer of 2018 and sign with the Lakers. The Thunder traded for him anyway, hoping they could convince him to stay after a season there.
It might have worked. George enjoyed his time playing for the Thunder. He gushed about his relationship with Russell Westbrook and appreciated the way the organization treats its players.
George is a Palmdale, Calif., native who grew up dreaming of playing for the Lakers. He's said many times that he wants to come home to play.