Paul George: Carmelo Anthony Trade Persuaded Me to Re-Sign with Thunder in 2018
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Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

When Paul George made the decision to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2018, Carmelo Anthony‘s presence was a key factor.

On the All The Smoke podcast, George explained that he was considering going to Los Angeles at the time, but “I wanna see this all the way through” and signed the extension to play alongside Anthony and Russell Westbrook

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Paul George on staying in OKC to play with @carmeloanthony.

#AllTheSmoke: https://t.co/VI7wXTXdMe https://t.co/CRV2d0jGAo

The Thunder got Anthony in a trade with the New York Knicks on Sept. 25, 2017. He got to play with George and Westbrook for a full season, but the results were often mixed for Anthony. The 10-time All-Star averaged 16.2 points per game on a career-low 40.4 percent shooting. 

Even though George had long-been connected to Los Angeles—specifically, the Lakerswhen he became eligible for free agency after the 2017-18 season, the Fresno State alum surprised many by agreeing to a four-year extension to remain with Oklahoma City. 

Anthony wound up being traded to the Atlanta Hawks in July 2018, ending his one-year tenure with the Thunder. 

George didn’t get his wish to run things back with Anthony on his team, but the 30-year-old put together his best season in 2018-19. He finished third in MVP voting after averaging 28 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. 

Oklahoma City was eliminated from the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. 

One year after re-signing with the Thunder, George finally landed in Los Angeles when he was traded to the Clippers. The California native had a successful regular season with 21.2 points per game, but the team imploded in the playoffs by blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets. 

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