Reports: Paul George to become free agent

Paul George has decided not to exercise his $20.7 million option for next season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN and The Associated Press.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news early Thursday morning, said league sources also said George’s decision doesn’t mean the Thunder are out of the picture.

George reportedly remains seriously interested in returning to the Thunder, although sources told Wojnarowski that the Los Angeles Lakers will also receive serious consideration from the Southern California native.

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George has until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to formally decline his option with the Thunder. After that, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

The 28-year-old five-time All-Star averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and two steals for the Thunder this past season after being traded by the Indiana Pacers.

The Thunder and the Lakers won’t be alone in pursuing George, who is also expected to attract the attention of the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets, among others.