Paul George hopes he, Westbrook address 2018 free agency together

Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Forget what happened in 2016, the summer of 2018 is now the epic one for the Oklahoma City Thunder. With new acquisition Paul George hitting unrestricted free agency and franchise cornerstone Russell Westbrook possibly going on the open market as well, the Kevin Durant departure of last year is now a forgotten memory.

George has been saying all the right things about Oklahoma City since the trade that brought him from over the Indiana Pacers, and on Wednesday he was officially introduced by his new club.

"I'm not looking past 2017-2018. Me and Russ have something to build now," Westbrook said, according to KOCO-TV's Carson Cunningham. "It could be something we want to continue building. If Russ and I love where we're at, I'm open to (staying)."

Related: Paul George says he's the new fashion king in OKC

For the second straight summer, the Thunder have been trying to get Westbrook to sign a contract extension, but as of yet he hasn't done so.

"Hopefully we can address (free agency) together," George added Wednesday, per Cunningham. "Discuss what we built and to make decisions based off one another."

George has downplayed rumors of himself aiming to return to his hometown of Los Angeles - also Westbrook's hometown - in 2018, saying he just wants to win. Losing George wouldn't be ideal for the Thunder, but there was an implicit rental risk in making the trade in the first place. Yet, watching Westbrook depart as well would be catastrophic for the franchise, and another severe blow to small markets around the NBA.

"I've never had this kind of help, or a teammate this caliber," George said. "Sky is the limit. Hopefully we can make magic happen."

Paul George hopes he, Westbrook address 2018 free agency together
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