The Paul George trade was not a bad trade for the Pacers. I repeat: This was not a bad trade.
Yes, Indiana clearly could have gotten something significantly better just four months ago. But Kevin Pritchard and Larry Bird didn't read the room right when it came to Paul George’s future intentions. Pritchard said it best when George’s agent said he wouldn't even think about re-signing; "It was a gut punch."
Clearly George's relationship with the front office deteriorated over the past couple of years. It started with the Roy Hibbert trade, then was exacerbated when Bird publically called for George to play the 4. The last straw came at the trade deadline when the Pacers reportedly fielded offers for George without telling him.
These moves are what led to the very mediocre offer Indiana received in return for George.
Oladipo will sell tickets and will be interesting playing beside Lance Stephenson, if he's named the point guard. But he also cost $21 million per year and isn't a great 3-point shooter (35 percent over his career).
Pritchard and new GM Chad Buchanan must think highly of Domantas Sabonis. Who knows, Sabonis could turn into something special. You never know with a player that young.
I know the Celtics weren't offering much but clearly, they could have waited to take Oklahoma’s 10 cent on the dollar offer.
Maybe Pritchard was just mad at George and decided to ship him to the smallest NBA city and next to a star who won't let him shoot clutch shots. Good luck marketing yourself next year PG.
Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics were clearly being hoarders. Every trade involving a star player (Demarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, and now Paul George) the Celtics could have easily topped. At some point, Boston either must cash in their assets or hope their top picks turn into superstars.
For now, the Pacers deal looks bad. But the Boston offer of three first round picks is deceiving, just like the Lakers offer of Randle, Clarkson, and two first rounds pick (#27 and #28, those are basically second round picks). I bet Boston offered them the 2019 Grizzlies and 2019 Clippers first round picks plus their own first round pick, all which will fall outside the lottery. Even if Jae Crowder was involved in the deal, he's not a game changer.
Randle is worse than Oladipo and probably would of cost same as him. Randle is due an extension next year. Clarkson's contract is an albatross.
If Sabonis turns out to be good this year Indiana can easily flip Thaddeus Young at the deadline to a contender for another first round pick. For now, it'll be interesting to see what the Pacers look like next year. Maybe Myles Turner will make the 3rd year leap that Paul George made six years ago. Maybe Indiana will sign Jrue Holiday.
I have a feeling this trade was the first of many moves Indiana will make over the next few seasons under Pritchard. For now this trade sucks, but it isn't as bad as losing George for nothing or taking the Celtics’ or Lakers’ super crappy offers.