OKC forward Paul George opts out of $20.7M deal

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The Oklahoma City Thunder are growing increasingly optimistic about their chances of re-signing him.

Paul George has informed the Oklahoma City Thunder will not opt into the final season of his contract at $20.7 million and he will become a free agent.

Many have assumed for years that Paul George is destined to end up with the Los Angeles Lakers, and that could very well come to fruition this summer.

Before his trade, George had told the Pacers that he planned to sign with the Lakers in free agency this summer.

"Here they have made a huge risk in trading for me, knowing I have one year on my deal", George says of the Thunder. He said he'd talk to Presti, Westbrook and coach Billy Donovan before making a decision.

The Lakers are desperate to sign George and potentially add him to a line-up including LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

George has spoken out about the free agency process and said his decision will be based on multiple factors.

On Tuesday night, the first of a three-part ESPN series called "Paul George: My Journey" aired and, in it, George discussed his career path to date and the potential free agency that awaits him in mere days. "A lot is playing into this, so it's a bit overwhelming".

George did not make as big of an impact as expected in his first season with the Thunder, and his last game of the year was arguably his worst.

And Russell Westbrook has been in regular contact with George in an attempt to convince the five-time All-Star to stay.

The 5-time NBA All-Star is from Palmdale, California, where he was the Golden League Most Valuable Player and the Antelope Valley Press Player of the Year at Knight High School. "I mean, honestly, I can't say it any more than that".