George (ankle) underwent an elbow procedure earlier in the offseason to address bursitis in his shooting arm, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post reports.
Per Bontemps, George had "complained off and on during the season that he was dealing with 'tightness' in his forearm." Despite having 18-to-20 ounces of excess blood sitting in the sac of his elbow, George still managed to shoot 40.1 percent from three-point range, the second-highest mark of his career. This isn't the first news that George had been playing the season beat up, as he also underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, George looks to be fully recovered from that procedure, as the forward was taking full contact in practices for Team USA on Thursday. Assuming he gets his body right, George could see his numbers take a step forward in his second season in Oklahoma City, especially with the departure of Carmelo Anthony creating a scoring void.
George declined his player option last week to become an unrestricted free agent, but didn't take long to make a decision. Despite murmurs that he was interested in joining the Lakers, he'll stick around in Oklahoma City after averaging 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.1 three-pointers and 2.0 steals in 36.6 minutes per game in his first season with the Thunder in 2017-18.
George (ankle) informed Thunder officials Thursday that he will decline his $20.7 million player option for the 2018-19 season and officially become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
George's decision was always viewed as an inevitably with the All-Star forward set to command a higher annual salary on the open market and likely to have a slew of teams interested in bringing him aboard. Wojnarowski relays that the Lakers, 76ers and Rockets are among the top suitors linked to George, who is eligible to sign a five-year, $176 million contract extension this offseason. In an effort to exert more control over his future, however, George may have more interest in inking a "one-plus-one" contract that would allow him to opt out of his deal again at this time next summer.
George underwent a scope procedure on his left knee Wednesday and will be able to return to basketball activities in six to eight weeks, Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com reports.
George saw a heavy workload to end the postseason, playing 40 or more minutes in the last five games of the season. It's unclear how long the knee was bothering him, but the fact that he was able to push the procedure off until the end of the season likely means that the injury was anything too serious. The timetable puts George out until the end of June or early July, meaning he should be able to go once training camp starts.
George posted only five points (2-16 FG, 0-6 3Pt, 1-2 FT), eight assists, three rebounds and one steal across 45 minutes during Oklahoma City's 96-91 loss to the Jazz in Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
George couldn't have picked an more untimely juncture to have his shot go cold, and his final miss turned out to be a back-breaker for the Thunder. The All-Star forward's 29-footer with 18 seconds left came up short, and George couldn't get the benefit of a call despite Rudy Gobert making clear contact with him as he released the ball. George's 12.5 percent success rate from the floor was naturally his worst of the series, and it marked only the second time over the six games he'd shot under 40.0 percent. Despite the significant downturn Friday, he finished the first round with impressive averages of 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals across 41.8 minutes.
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