Whew, that came out of nowhere and the news is surely a shock.
In the trade, the Pacers bring back Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis from the Thunder. And no draft picks. None.
The trade is a stunner considering all of the reports of potential better deals from the Lakers, Celtics and even the Cavs. But in the end, those reports, which continue to flow after the fact, must have been more hollow than reported.
Thanks to Paul George and his agent Aaron Mintz, who was able to destroy any trade market for PG and also cost his client a far bigger pay day with the Lakers (oops), Kevin Pritchard appears to have made a deal more intent on not helping rival teams as opposed to immediately helping the Pacers.
Oladipo will be welcomed like a hero by the IU faithful in Indy and his 4-year, $84 million contract will keep him here throughout the rebuild. Oladipo has struggled to shoot the ball, but his active game alongside Lance Stephenson next year should entertain in some form or fashion, most likely near the rim.
Sabonis is a 21-year-old big forward with good skill, but quite similar to T.J. Leaf. Although, Sabonis doesn’t have the perimeter shot Leaf projects to bring to the Pacers. But at this point, the Pacers are accruing young assets and fully rebuilding. Unfortunately, the bounty for PG was paltry at best.
As for Paul George, he will team up with Russell Westbrook in OKC while keeping an eye on L.A. for next summer. The Thunder could pay both stars max money in an effort to keep them around, but PG won’t be getting that level of cash from the Lakers if he makes his move, as expected.