Paul George was traded to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonantas, Sam Amick of USA Today Sports reports.
George has been the hottest name in the league since he informed the Pacers he did not intend to re-sign with them following the 2017-18 season. The Thunder were not really being talked about as a possible landing spot for the star forward, which makes this move all the more surprising. The Thunder traded Serge Ibaka for Oladipo and a lottery-pick that ended up being Sabonis prior to free agency last season, as they did not intend to offer him the max. They have now flipped those two assets for presumably just one year of George, as he reportedly will favor his hometown Lakers heading into 2018 free agency. The rental risk makes sense, as Russell Westbrook is in his prime and coming off a career season where he was not provided much help on the team around him. George and Westbrook should mesh well on the court in theory, as George is not a ball-dominant player. It remains to be seen how the team will fill the roster around those two star players, but George should be primed for a big season in Oklahoma City.
Paul George informed the Pacers organization that he plans to leave the team and become a free agent in the summer of 2018, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
With a full season still ahead of George before the summer of 2018, things could obviously change, but it sounds like he's ready for a change of scenery. The Lakers are already being crowned the front runner for George's services going into the 2018-19 season, as he's originally from Southern California and also appears to be looking for a larger market. George is coming off a career year with averages of 23.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals, so with plenty left in the tank, the Pacers may dangle George's name out in trade proposals in order to get some sort of value out of him before he leaves for nothing as an unrestricted free agent in 2018.