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After one year with Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the rotation, Thunder fans have no idea how much will change this offseason. Melo could opt in for one more year, but he seems unhappy. George also has a player option, and though he seemed to enjoy his year with OKC, rumors have long indicated he has his heart set on Los Angeles.
ESPN's Ryen Russillo got the internet talking earlier this week when he said he had heard from a trusted source that George is "gone" in free agency.
The longtime radio/podcast host said the source didn't know where George would go—only that he was going somewhere new.
Wednesday, Thunder General Manager Sam Presti responded to that rumor. Though he didn't say anything to totally refute it, he did paint a different picture of the situation.
Presti says dialogue with Paul George “has really encouraged us.”— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) May 2, 2018
Presti says re: how willing the organization is to pay an expensive tax bill to re-sign Paul George, "The answer to that would be affirmative."— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) May 2, 2018
“I talked to PG, why don’t we listen to Paul, he’s had a lot of things to say to. I’d rather listen to the man himself.” Presti on the report yesterday on Paul George leaving OKC.— Brady Trantham (@BradyDoesSports) May 2, 2018
Presti has assembled a few star-studded rosters—the first featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, and now this one featuring Westbrook, George, and Anthony. He was long revered as one of the best executives in sports, but he has recently come under fire as the Thunder have struggled since losing Durant in free agency to Golden State.