George believes Thunder can compete for championship this season

Oleh E.Jay Zarett 25 September 2018 2
George believes Thunder can compete for championship this season

Paul George believes the Oklahoma City Thunder have a chance to win an NBA title this season.

The 28-year-old forward agreed to a four-year, $137million contract extension with Oklahoma City when free agency began July 1.

He said he "absolutely" thinks the Thunder can compete for a championship in 2018-19.

"There's an expectation and a level we know we need to play at," GeorgeĀ told ESPN on Monday.

"I definitely think this team has a chance [to win a championship]. The reason why I signed back here is because I believed in it. And everybody in here believes. It's on us, we've got our work cut out and it's not going to be easy, but we're up for it."

George averaged 21.9 points and shot 40.1 per cent from three-point range in his first season with the Thunder.

He said his decision to re-sign with the Thunder came down to "direction".

"There's no unsureness, no second-guessing what's going on," George said. "I'm here; I'm committed, I'm part of this team. And now that's all I can focus on, is getting better, trying to win games and ultimately winning a championship here."

The Thunder sent forward Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for point guard Dennis Schroder this offseason. They also inked forward Jerami Grant to a new three-year, $27million deal.

George said the Thunder should be "a lot faster" this season.

"It's a loss in some ways with what Melo brought," George said. "But we're a different team. We've added some things, we should be a lot faster."

Oklahoma City will open the regular season against the Golden State Warriors on October 16.

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E.Jay Zarett