The Oklahoma City Thunder made a blockbuster trade on Friday night. The Thunder traded Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis to the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.
Oklahoma City’s odds to win the 2017-18 NBA title went from 60-1 to 40-1, according to the Westgate Las Vegas.
Paul George told the Pacers only a week or so ago he was not going to re-sign and wanted to be traded. Indiana obliged, sending the rental to Oklahoma City.
This is Sam Presti’s magical moves once again at work. While free agent-wise, Oklahoma City is not a premiere destination, the Thunder and Presti have been wizards in the ability to acquire quality players via trades.
The Thunder were last in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage last season (32.7). George shot 39.3 percent in 2016-17, which would’ve ranked first on OKC (minimum five attempts).
This signals a win now move by Presti, to Westbrook. This shows how much he’s working to keep Westbrook on a title contender.
George is a modern superstar and a quality two-way player who has been able to lockdown opponent’s best perimeter players. Westbrook now has a second option after being the only option all of last season.
George, 27, averaged a career high 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on 46 percent shooting.
This will be the first time George has been paired with a legitimate superstar. While he has always been the no. 1 option in Indiana, that pressure will be off him, hopefully for an improved offensive game.
For the Thunder, this is a big risk, big reward situation. George is obviously a 1-year rental. However, having him on a contending team may just sway the former Fresno State Bulldog to stay in Bricktown.
Oladipo never seemed to fit in the Thunder’s system. He was inconsistent and often disappeared when it was crunch time. The former no. 2 pick moves onto his third team in three years. Oladipo averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and a career low 2.3 assists
Sabonis was thought to be the next starting power forward of the franchise. However, an absolutely dismal performance all season long, led to the benching when the Thunder acquired Taj Gibson. Sabonis was relegated to bench time and had a couple of DNPs. Sabonis averaged 5.9 points on 39.9 percent from the field and only 32.1 percent from three.
Oklahoma City could still be working and we might hear their name a few more times before the sun rises.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!