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Paul George loves OKC, but leaves door to Los Angeles open

Oklahoma City Thunder v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 20: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder warms up prior to the start of the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on January 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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Paul George is going to finish this season in a Thunder uniform — teams calling about him at the trade deadline are being shot down. Unequivocally.

That doesn’t mean George will be in a Thunder uniform to start next season.

George told Sam Amick of the USA Today he’s happy in Oklahoma City, he loves playing with Russell Westbrook, but don’t confuse that with him staying this summer no matter what.

“Well, I mean I’m happy here,” George said. “I’m happy here. I’m happy with this group. At the end of the season, it’s still on my decision on what I need to do for my family. That has nothing to do with my happiness here though. I’ve been really happy. It’s a great organization to be a part of, but again, you know, I don’t want people looking at this and (saying) like, ‘Hey, because he said it’s his happiness at the end of the day (that he’s definitely re-signing).

“I don’t know if whether I’m going to LA, or what I’m going to do this offseason. But I can say I am happy about being here. I’m happy with playing with Russ, happy with playing with Melo, and this organization. This front office has shown what they can do to go get pieces and how active they are about winning.”

The slow start and the up-and-down nature of the Thunder season put them in a hole heading into this postseason. They seem destined for a tough 4/5 first-round matchup with Minnesota, win that and the reward is Golden State (which will be a lot more focused than it was the other night).

Whenever the Thunder’s season ends, George will take a step back, assess the situation, then make the call. Money matters, on-the-court comfort matters, lifestyle matters, it all comes into play. The Lakers are still looming out there, that’s no secret. It’s impossible to say what George will decide in July because right now George doesn’t know what he will decide in July. That’s might as well be a lifetime away, the playoffs will color his perspectives that much.

Right now, he’s happy with the Thunder and he likes his team’s chances. That’s a great start if you’re a Thunder fan.