Former Fresno State Bulldog Paul George  shocked the NBA free agency market last night when he told Oklahoma City residents that he is “here to stay.”

George will also be paid handsomely with a four-year, $137M max contract to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The deal also reportedly includes a player option.

The former Fresno State basketball player has been generous to his former school in the past. In 2013 he bought out all the remaining tickets to the Bulldogs’ season-opening men’s basketball game and gave the tickets away, among other partnerships. George has also been on Fresno State’s campus a number of times, most recently on the sidelines of Jim Sweeney Field at Bulldog Stadium during Derek Carr’s jersey retirement ceremony.

About a year and a week prior to George’s contract, former Bulldog quarterback Derek Carr became the highest paid NFL player (at the time) with a five-year, $125M contract extension with the Oakland Raiders. This year was George’s turn and next year the third member of Fresno State’s “Big 3” should be seeing a pay raise as well. Former Bulldog baseball player and reigning American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge's deal will be up for arbitration in 2019. Despite his success, Judge is still on his original rookie contract which is reportedly paying a little over $600,000.

Former Bulldog basketball player Tyler Johnson is also in his third year of a four-year, $50M deal with the Miami Heat. Johnson’s back-loaded contract reportedly escalates from $5.8M to $19.2M this upcoming NBA season.

At Fresno State, George played two years for the Bulldogs from 2008 to 2010, averaging 15.5 points, 7.8 rebounds per game as an underclassmen. As a sophomore, he also shot 47 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range.

After declaring early for the NBA draft, George was selected with the 10th overall pick by the Indiana Pacers where he blossomed into an NBA All-Star. George resigned with the Pacers in 2014 on a four-year, $91M deal, but after voicing displeasure with the organization he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2017-18 season. George opted out of his player option for 2018-19 worth $20M in order to sign a long-term deal with the Thunder, expected at over $30M per season.

Many expected George to return to California - more specifically in his native Southern California region where he group up as a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, George made the decision at the very opening of the free agency period that he would stay with the Thunder. Oklahoma City made a gamble in trading for George, giving up promising prospects to have the former Bulldog for just one guaranteed season. They proved to win over George, pairing him with fellow NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook. The team went 48-34 last season with a first-round playoff exit against the Utah Jazz.

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