The Indiana Pacers found their conclusion to the Paul George saga in the form of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis from the Oklahoma City Thunder, as broken by Ramona Shelburne.
Paul George has been traded to OKC, per sources— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2017
Hearing Oladipo and Sabonis going to Indy— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2017
The move is a surprising one, given the wealth of Boston Celtics “Godfather” offers to come out since the news was announced, but it appeared that Kevin Pritchard felt the time was now to move from George, even if this may not have been the best offer. George’s long term intentions tanked whatever leverage the Pacers may have had in a deal, ultimately resulting in what the Pacers received from the Thunder, who will be seen as clear winner in the deal (and for good reason), even if George bolts for Los Angeles next summer.
The Pacers moved to acquire Oladipo and Sabonis, while there are no reported picks announced with the deal. Oladipo is a familiar face for Hoosiers from Indiana University’s Big Ten Championship team with Cody Zeller in 2012-13, and Sabonis is most well-known for being Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis’s son. As a move, it appears it will be one that is intended to keep the Pacers in “contention” in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, though much of that will be dependent on Oladipo’s response as a #1 option.
Oladipo averaged 15.9 points per game on his only season with the Thunder, shooting 44% and 36% from three point range. Sabonis started 66 games for Oklahoma City as a rookie, averaging 5.9 points on .399 shooting with 3.6 rebounds a night. Sabonis provides Indiana with a “young prospect,” as does Oladipo to an extent, but he will start a four year, $84 million contract starting this fall. With Myles Turner, T.J. Leaf, and Lance Stephenson, the Pacers may be bad enough to secure a late lottery pick, but there will be reasons to watch without a doubt.
George will no longer be a concern for the Pacers, but will make a perfect match for MVP Russell Westbrook. It will also provide more reason for NBA fans to check in on the Thunder, including more matchups where George holds James Harden to 5-17 shooting.