The OKC Thunder locked up Russell Westbrook to a long-term extension, and now turn their attention to retaining Paul George next summer.

George says his looming decision in free agency is now a lot “easier” with Russ firmly committed.

Carmelo Anthony, OKC’s other marquee acquisition this offseason, isn’t quite ready to discuss his future plans.

Per ESPN:

“We’ve been on an unbelievable start right now, and for him to be committed here, it says a lot,” George said. “Not only in us pairing together, but just knowing what type of dude Russ is and his values and his beliefs and him being committed to this organization says a lot. And I’m one person that’s enjoying it here, so I think when that time comes, the decision will be easier to make for myself.”

 

Westbrook signed an extension last summer in the wake of Kevin Durant’s departure to the Golden State Warriors, but with an opt-out next summer, the Thunder were facing the possibility of Westbrook, George and new addition Carmelo Anthony (player option) all hitting the open market and leaving next July. Now, with Westbrook locked up, the Thunder’s long-term outlook is in a much more stable position.

 

“I was happy, I was happy,” Anthony said. “Everybody should be happy, everybody should be excited about right now [and] the future. He’s the cornerstone of this organization, and he’s proven that yesterday by agreeing to that deal not only showing this organization his commitment, but showing [Oklahoma City] his commitment to them, too.”