George will join forces with MVP Russell Westbrook:
The NBA offseason just keeps giving. Some would say this is much more exciting than the regular season. Indiana Pacers and the Oklahoma City Thunder made a splash getting the free agency period underway. Indiana sent all star Paul George to OKC in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
After a long few weeks for Indiana’s front office, they finally dealt their all star. It was a question of when he would be dealt, not if he would be. After passing up reported offers from Boston, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Pacers shocked the NBA world by sending him to OKC.
George, 27, will now join forces with last years MVP, Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City is getting a 4x All Star, 3x All-NBA team member, and a 3x All Defensive Team member. George averaged 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 75 games. He shot 46% from the field, and 39.3% from deep.
This makes OKC even more dangerous next season, and it doesn’t look like they will be stopping with just this move. Reports say they plan on meeting with several more “significant” free agents. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them add another player or two and form their own “Big 3”. Another reason OKC made this move is to hopefully secure Westbrook who is likely to sign an extension this summer as well.
Indiana, who seemingly had better offers prior to this, will acquire Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Oladipo, just 24, has been a solid player over his 4 year NBA career. He averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 65 games last season. Oladipo will serve as the main piece to the Pacers rebuild along with big man, Sabonis.
Sabonis, 20, played 81 games last year during his rookie season. In those 81 games he averaged 5.9 points, and 3.6 rebounds. He will see his 20 minutes a game grow drastically next season as the rebuild is underway in Indiana.
This is a great deal for Oklahoma City if they are able to lure George into staying long term. George, who’s from California, has made it known he prefers signing with the Lakers next offseason. If he leaves, it looks like OKC will be stuck rebuilding for a few years.
This is just the beginning of this crazy offseason. One this is for certain, teams in the western conference are loading up on talent and looking to take down those Golden State Warriors. Welcome to NBA free agency everyone, it’s just getting started.