NBA Free Agency Recap: Paul George shuns LA, signs a long-term deal with OKC

Paul George to the LA Lakers was supposedly a sure thing. There was the hometown connection, his willingness to sign with a young team and of course the tampering issue.

The buzz of George signing with the Lakers was so loud during the NBA season. Lakers fans even showered him with applause and cheers every time the OKC Thunder would visit Hollywood. But suddenly, that buzz died down in the days leading to the first day of free agency. It was replaced with rumors of George and the Thunder officials, as well as Thunder star Russell Westbrook in constant communication.

Then, hours before NBA Free Agency opened, ESPN’s Royce Young reported that Westbrook was throwing a summer house party with Thunder officials, celebrities and a huge guest list. Westbrook even flew out from a family vacation in Hawaii to host the party.

That was practically the death toll of the #PGtoLA movement. OKC showed they could party like LA too. A few hours after that report, the infallible Adrian Wojnarowski, announced on Twitter that George was re-signing with the Thunder.

This isn’t one of those 1+1 deals that guys like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have been signing. George is committed to the Thunder for the long term. He agreed a four-year, $137 million deal, with a player option on the third year.

After all that noise about the Lakers being the frontrunners to sign George amounted to nothing. They didn’t even get a meeting with him. OKC’s gamble to trade for PG paid off.

Just like last season, there were several superstars that gave their commitments to their teams even before the clock struck 12 midnight to officially open NBA Free Agency.

It was no surprise where Kevin Durant was signing. He was re-joining the Golden State Warriors on another 1+1 deal. Marc Stein of the New York Times was first to report on the new deal worth $61.5 million.

Chris Paul will be back with the Houston Rockets for the next four years. He agreed to a max contract worth $160 million as reported by Wojnarowski. With Paul in tow, the Rockets are looking to make another deep playoff run.

Paul and Durant are staying. But DeAndre Jordan is moving on from the LA Clippers. The high-flying, shot-blocking center has come to an agreement with the Dallas Mavericks as reported by Stein. The Mavs are the same team that pursued him back in 2015.

He also had a new emoji to showcase his new team.

This is one agreement that no one will believe until Jordan signs on the dotted line. Remember when Jordan was reportedly held captive by the Clippers in his house so that he couldn’t sign with the Mavericks?

The Denver Nuggets made solid moves in the few hours heading into free agency. Yahoo’s Chris Mannix reported that Will Barton, the high-scoring wing has agreed to a $53 million deal for four years.

Woj then announced that Denver re-signed their star center Nikola Jokic to a maximum deal worth $148 million for five years.

The Nuggets having secured their biggest free agents heading into the summer are now looking on signing an even bigger name.

There were a lot of free agents that agreed to contracts within the first few hours of free agency.

Trevor Ariza is moving on from the Rockets after he agreed to a one-year $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. Ariza’s new team was reported by Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania. The Suns get a solid floor spacer to pair up with Devin Booker and top pick DeAndre Ayton.

Charania also reported that Rudy Gay is returning to the San Antonio Spurs for a one-year $10 million deal. This is a solid back-up plan in case they do trade Kawhi Leonard in the next few days.

A couple of shooters are leaving the Philadelphia 76ers for new teams. Ersan Ilyasova is signing with the Milwaukee Bucks while Marco Belinelli will be reuniting with the San Antonio Spurs.

Several teams also secured solid bench options.

The Indiana Pacers have agreed to terms with Doug McDermott.

The Thunder continued to make moves by finalizing a deal with Jerami Grant.

The Nets solidify their roster with Joe Harris and Ed Davis.

The Boston Celtics will be bringing back Aron Baynes.

Derrick Rose is coming back to the Minnesota Timberwolves on a one-year deal.

Omri Casspi, a key player for the Golden State Warriors late last season finds a new team with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The biggest free agent in the league, LeBron James still hasn’t announced where he’ll be playing next season. Internet sleuths have tracked James’ private plane from Cleveland to Anguilla in the Carribean to LA.

That led several people trooping to a private hangar in LA to get a glimpse of James.

Chrissy Teigen adds fuel to the #LAbron fire with here own LeBron experience.

With James now in LA, the next few days of NBA free agency will be very interesting.

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