Sixers' bench takes major hit at start of free agency

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The Thunder also reportedly signed star Paul George to a four-year, $137 million contract Sunday.

He'll return to Oklahoma City after averaging 21.9 points per game for the Thunder in 2017-18.

Just last week, George opted out of his contract with the Thunder and entered free agency, and that prompted many rumors that he planned to go to the Los Angeles Lakers, as the Inquisitr reported. That means he'd be signing up for at least one more year with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in a quest to make some noise in the Western Conference. The trade looked lopsided in favor of the Thunder at the time, but Oladipo's ascendence to All-Star status combined with OKC's up-and-down season evened the scales a bit.

Keeping Grant on a $9 million annual salary could cost the Thunder an additional $40 million in luxury tax.

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From Oklahoma City's perspective, this was quite a coup. Per the report, the third year of the deal is a player option. Oklahoma City could face the largest tax bill in National Basketball Association history, according to ESPN.

The deal won't become official until the league's annual moratorium on free agent signings ends July 6, but George's decision removes one of the best free agents from the market. Anthony has a no-trade clause, but a trade that could precede a buyout to play elsewhere next season could be a move Anthony would welcome. He simply isn't the kind of player you give that kind of money to.

The hope here is that Oklahoma City is able to somehow overcome last season's struggles.

"When I first fell in love with the game and I'm outside playing in front of the house, I'm not picturing myself in an in jersey or picturing myself in a Thunder jersey", said George, who played his first seven seasons for the Pacers.

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