It will be easier for the Oklahoma City Thunder to convince All-Star forward Paul George to stay after they signed Russell Westbrook by signing him to a five-year extension worth $205 million. According to George, the Thunder’s display of commitment to Westbrook will be a big factor when he makes his own decision regarding his future next summer. “From the commitment from the front office all the way down to Russ, the commitment here is off the charts,” George told Royce Young of ESPN. With Westbrook signed until the 2022-23 season, George said when his time to decide comes, “decision will be easier to make for myself.”

Westbrook, the reigning MVP, signed a five-year extension worth $205 million, the largest deal in NBA history.

Adding his $28 million salary for the 2017-18 season, Westbrook now holds the record for largest guaranteed salary at $233 million. George said he wasn’t surprised by Westbrook’s decision to sign weeks before the October 16 deadline, indicating that really wants to remain a Thunder.

George to make decision next summer

All eyes will be on George next summer as he makes his decision on whether to remain with the Thunder or join the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder traded for George despite having just one year remaining in his contract with the Indiana Pacers. The Thunder shipped Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Pacers for the All-Star forward. It was reported that George wanted to join the Lakers in the offseason but the Pacers instead traded him to the Thunder.

The Pacers also accused the Lakers of tampering with George while he was still in Indiana. After a thorough investigation, the league fined the Lakers $500,000 for tampering but they avoided the heavier penalty of being prohibited from acquiring George from the free-agent market. Aside from George, latest acquisition Carmelo Anthony could also hit the free-agent market next summer.

Anthony has two years remaining on his contract but the final year is a player option, which would allow him to hit the market after this season. However, Westbrook’s signing makes the Thunder long-term outlook bright.

Anthony happy for Westbrook

Anthony, for his part, is elated that the Thunder have already signed Westbrook to a long-term deal, saying “everybody should be happy and excited about right now and the future of the franchise.

Anthony said the deal showed the commitment that Westbrook and the Thunder have for each other. Meanwhile, Anthony refused to answer any question about is long-term future. The former New York Knicks superstar said he’s focused on training camp and establishing himself with the Thunder. The Knicks traded Anthony to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick.