Many expect Paul George to pack up his things in Oklahoma City and leave the Thunder to join the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.

But all that George-to-LA talk might have been a bit premature.

Marc Stein of The New York Times wrote in his latest newsletter that there is a “growing belief” that George could remain in OKC with Russell Westbrook.

“There is a growing belief around the league that Oklahoma City has a far better chance to retain the free-agent-to-be Paul George than many believed when the Thunder crashed out of the first round of the playoffs,” Stein writes, via NBC. “As George prepares to field the Lakers’ long-anticipated interest, his willingness to post an Instagram picture of himself last month from a hospital bed after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee has helped to fuel the notion in some corners that he’s in no rush to leave OKC.”

George will become a free agent July 1 and it has been reported that PG-13 could meet with LeBron James to discuss teaming up in Los Angeles.

The star forward had a decent first season with the Thunder, but the combination of he, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony never clicked as it was supposed to and the team fizzled in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Utah Jazz.

It still seems more likely than not that George will spurn OKC and head for LA, but if he elects to stay with the Thunder, it could have far-reaching implications across the NBA landscape.

Thumbnail photo via Russ Isabella/USA TODAY Sports Images