Pacers Trade Paul George To Thunder

JULY 6, 12:05pm: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Pacers.

JUNE 30, 8:42pm: Paul George will be traded to the Thunder, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN tweets. The scribe adds in a second tweet that Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis will be headed to the Pacers.Paul George vertical

The deal was quickly confirmed by both TNT’s David Aldridge and Shams Charania of The Vertical and following up shortly thereafter was Royce Young of ESPN noting specifically that there will be no picks changing hands.

While George had been the subject of trade rumors ever since he expressed his desire to leave the Pacers next summer, the Thunder were not among the teams floated as a possible destination. It has since been made clear, however, that the Thunder have been in pursuit of George since at least the draft.

The move can be regarded as a risky one by general manager Sam Presti, who will see one of the game’s top two-way perimeter players suit up alongside the ever-prolific Russell Westbrook in 2017/18. George, however, has made no secret his desire to sign with his hometown Lakers next summer.

The relative lack of a return the Pacers received from Oklahoma City, specifically no draft picks, is indicative of how nervous league executives are about George ultimately leaving for Los Angeles in 2018, Brian Windhorst of ESPN says.

Teams on the outside looking in as the Thunder welcome the year’s most coveted “rental” include the Cavaliers, Celtics, Rockets and Wizards.

As the dust settles, the basketball community will pay special attention to how this impacts the future of the Thunder organization. Will the gesture of going out and landing Geoge be enough to convince Westbrook to sign a long-term extension this summer?

Of note is that the Thunder will not have the available cap space to negotiate a significant pay raise for George, meaning he’ll inevitably hit the free agent market in 2018. That doesn’t bode well considering his widely reported desire to play for the Lakers.

As far as the other side of the deal is concerned, the Pacers will bring a familiar face back to the state of Indiana. Prior to going second overall in the 2013 draft, Oladipo spent three years with the Hoosiers. Now, after a solid but unspectacular four years with the Magic and Thunder, the 25-year-old will have the opportunity to elevate his game with another change of scenery.

In Sabonis, the Pacers acquire a skilled big man fresh off of an acceptable first campaign. In limited action behind Steven Adams and Enes Kanter, Sabonis averaged 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’ll slot in next to or just behind Myles Turner in Indiana.

The blockbuster deal is the second such move that will send an elite talent from the Eastern Conference westward. On draft day, Jimmy Butler of the Bulls was moved to the Timberwolves.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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99 thoughts on “Pacers Trade Paul George To Thunder

    • oriolesravenstimberwolves04

      People don’t seem to be mentioning that the East is losing two top 20 players this year, arguably top 15. And maybe Lowry goes west also… can the east get any worse

  1. acarneglia

    Did not see that coming. It’s gotta be Kanter or Adams to OKC with maybe Roberson or Oladipo.

  2. Scott

    Interesting. Wonder who is headed to Indy. Westbrook and George will be FA next summer and could be interesting in LA.

    • There’s no guarantee Westbrook even leaves OKC. The only people talking about that are delusional Lakers fans.

      • dodgerfan711

        Paul George has openly said he wants to go to the Lakers yet we are delousional. Westbrook is 50/50 but i wouldn’t rule it out since he is from LA

        • He said his preference would be to play in LA. There’s a difference. Just as easily as he can walk away from OKC to sign in LA, he can enjoy OKC enough to resign there. And I don’t see Westbrook leaving OKC. For as much hate Durant got for leaving (and Westbrook kind of backing that up), it would be hypocritical for him to leave OKC as well. Plus, him and Lonzo would fit terribly next to each other since both are ball-dominant guards and their outside shooting game is either poor (Westbrook) or unproven at the NBA level (Lonzo).

    • Celts508

      Celts would have had to give up much more, in terms of talent, to make the salaries work.

        • Connorsoxfan

          No Zeller’s salary was non guaranteed they could’ve traded him, Crowder, Smart, and Mickey and that would’ve covered it. Better deal and it was worth it,

  3. cbf82

    Outta nowhere!! First CP3 and now this… What else is gonna happen tonight. wow

  4. houseoflords44

    Thunder gave up a good deal for a guy they might only have for 1 year.

    • I’m more inclined to say that Ainge’s ego got in the way and he really would not budge on what he was willing to offer. Granted George’s pending free agency was definitely a factor, Ainge didn’t seem to have the guts (or couldn’t put his ego aside) to make a trade for Butler either. Honestly, I think Ainge’s lack of willingness to move assets for someone will come back to bite him. I’m not saying he should go out and give away his best/most valuable assets but with all the picks heading to Boston within the next few years, Ainge is better off moving a couple of the lower picks for something than letting them sit just so they can cut them when their roster gets filled.

      • CriminalMethod

        Teams look at the Celtics assets and want more then what other teams can offer. Danny calls the potential trade unrealistic and the talks die. He shouldn’t trade the Brooklyn pick for a one year rental, and he didn’t.

        • I totally agree, he shouldn’t trade the Brooklyn pick for a rental. But with the amount of assets the Celtics have outside of the Brooklyn pick, they could still field a just as competitive, if not more competitive, offer than some other teams could.

          • formerlyz

            They could have done Crowder, Rozier, Zeller, Mickey, 2018 Celtics 1st rounder and 2019 memphis 1st rounder if they absolutely had to, or you can maybe substitute the Memphis pick for the rights to Nader…a lot for a 1 year guy, but doable for them if they have a shot to keep him, and go out and get a big to try to win. I think they probably do get asked for their all their top assets though.

            • formerlyz

              You could also have probably included the rights to Ojeleye instead of Nader or the memphis pick

            • I’m sure Indiana’s first offer revolved around their most valuable assets like the Brooklyn pick, the LAL/SAC pick, Brown, and/or Tatum. But that’s just simple bargaining tactics…you ask for more than you probably expect with the hope that you can meet at a understandably lower, but still beneficial to both sides point.

              • formerlyz

                The reason trades don’t get done in this league is b/c everyone tries to destroy everyone in them and nobody wants to get destroyed.

            • Regi Green

              That offer wouldnt match what okc gave up,and im not even all that impressed with what they gave up.theyre giving up 2 role players,but 2 capable starters.all i see in your proposed offer is 1 role player in Crowder,and a bunch of late 1st,2nd rd pick types.thinking players like Rozier,Mickey,and Zeller have enough value to get a star is probably why Boston still hasnt aquired 1.

              • formerlyz

                Or you don’t know about how to match salaries…also Rozier is a good young combo guard…and that memphis pick might end up being a good one…it’s 1 year of Paul George dude.bits not 2 or 3…and you’re super undervaluing Crowder’s amazing contract. That has a lot of value. You have to look at it as assets. But like I said, OKC sent back the best player, so it’s fair for Indiana to have taken that over the obvious better value

                • Regi Green

                  Im not undervaluing Crowders contract,its a nice trade piece.but you’re offer him and 3 guys 3rd on Bostons depth charts,with a 1st next year likely in the 25-30 range,and Memphis’ pick 2 years from now.that pick can still end up anywhere.

                  Im not undervaluing Crowder,you’re overrating the rest of your package.your package is Crowder and a trio of guys who might not even make Bostons roster anyway.

  5. Ainge, the cheapskate, is going to end up with nothing but a bunch of guys that okay 10 minutes and a bunch of draft picks that turn i to nothing… yeah ainge

    • Scott

      Mind boggling that Ainge doesn’t make deal with all the excess picks/assets at his disposal. Could have had George or Butler this offseason and possibly Cousins at the trade deadline/all star break. He’s probably forgiven if he can sign hayward though.

      • Connorsoxfan

        But signing Hayward doesn’t cost any of the assets and unless he has something crazy up his sleeve like trading the farm for Anthony Davis (which he doesn’t have done) but otherwise there’s no excuse for topping that offer.

  6. mchaney317

    There’s no way the Cavs could have offered Kevin Love for George because he’s worth more than Oladipo and Sabonis combined

    • They did. It’s been confirmed that they did. The problem with that proposal is that the Pacers wanted younger players to build around, something that Love wasn’t. That’s why they explored three team trades, they sought a team willing to take on Love in exchange for younger assets.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        I think what he meant was that the logic was that the Pacers didn’t want Love because they wanted to get younger and preferred younger assets or high picks vs Love. The fact that the best player is Oladipo who a) isn’t anywhere near as good as Love and b) is owed an absurd 4/$84 mil starting next season is mindbogglingly stupid.

        • Love is older and a free agent in two years, so if the Pacers did a Love-George trade straight up, they Pacers then have roughly half a season to find a offer for Love. If Love goes the whole season without being traded, his value goes down as he becomes a rental (same as George) and without a guarantee that he would resign in his next destination, his value would be far less than George.

          And yes, I agree, Oladipo is owed an absurd amount of money, but he’s still young enough to build around Turner. Plus, Sabonis may be the main target in this deal. He’s still relatively young and he fits nicely next to Turner.

          • KnicksCavsFan

            I respect your basketball acumen so I know you’ll see the logic. The trade value of Kevin Love for 2 or 3 years is much better than a 1 year rental of PG w/ the context that he’s stated he wants to sign with the Lakers next year. If Love were available as a free agent this year, looking thru the optics of what Love was in Minnesota and what he did last year as the 3rd option, then he would arguably be the 3rd or 4th best FA behind Durant and Curry (who we all know is simply a formality to resign with GSW) and maybe Paul. So he would be the most sought after FA, most likely ahead of Hayward and Griffin (because of his injury and demand for a max offer). If he could be had on a 2/$46 mil and a PO for $25 mil then teams would line-up to grab him, especially in a market where stretch 4s are in demand. Take away his production against any team in the NBA, aside from GSW, and he’s been a legit All-star.

            • KnicksCavsFan

              Shorter version, I doubt the Pacers would have any trouble moving Love for young assets. If PG is a 9 on the scale of 1-10 then Love is at least 8 but you have his value for 2x to 3x longer than PG.

              • I could agree with that logic. Who knows, maybe the Pacers were insistent on a three team trade to get the young assets right away (as opposed to waiting). Or maybe the Pacers were worried that Love might get hurt, or play poorly, in Indy and thus kill his value.

  7. Scott

    OKC top 4 in the West now? Clippers took a step back with Paul leaving and Utah could lose Hayward.

    • sidewinder11

      If only KD would consider coming back to OKC, they’d be serious contenders for the top spot in the west. That isn’t gonna happen but one could dream.

  8. I called a similar trade involving PG and the Thunder around the draft. Granted it involved PG going to the Cavs (and Love to the Thunder), but had the Pacers acquiring Oladipo and/or Sabonis. Wasn’t sure if OKC had the guts to make a trade for George after losing KD the year before and with George not being a guarantee to resign.

  9. Senioreditor

    The balance of power between conferences was bad but after the Butler and George trades it’s seriously out of whack!

  10. crazysull

    This is exactly why Danny didn’t trade for him. They were asking for(probably) Crowder, Bradley, and next years Nets pick, and the LAL/SAC pick. So PG13 for 2 starters and 2 lottery picks, or Olodipo and Sobonis, and maybe a little more. I am glad that the Celtics didn’t trade for him. We are better off just signing Heyward. A lineup of IT, Bradley, Crowder, Heyward, Horford with big bench pieces like Olynyk Smart Brown and Taytum still coming off the bench and not part of a trade for a one year player. The return the Pacers got from OKC is almost a guarantee that he is leaving after this year.

    • There is not a single guarantee he leaves OKC yet. If every team was convinced he would bolt to LA no matter what, nobody would trade for him unless the haul was minimal. The teams that were interested in him (and now OKC) traded for him because they were a team with playoff hopes, one or two stars/superstars, and the hope that a season with their team will be enough to convince PG to resign.

      And in regards to a possible Celtics deal, I’m more inclined to believe that Ainge was just completely unwilling to budge off his position. Maybe the Brooklyn and Isaiah Thomas trades got to his head and he was only willing to settle for trades that Boston would be the clear winner on. Considering what OKC gave up, Oladipo and Sabonis, I’m sure the Celtics could’ve offered Bradley or Crowder plus one of their draft and stash players (who would be expected to come over, Yabusele maybe?) and future firsts (the Lakers/Kings pick and another first that wasn’t the Brooklyn pick) and that deal would’ve been enough. But even if the team signs Heyward, they still aren’t good enough to beat the Cavs. Have fun resigning Olynyk to a contract worth over $10m AAV, watching one of Thomas/Bradley/Smart walk in free agency next year, and releasing young players with potential because the roster is full.

      • hiflew

        Of course people would give up assets for him. People trade for soon-to-be FA players at the trade deadline every season. They are getting an entire season of him. If he and Westbrook click and their bigs take another step forward, they could be a legit threat in the West.

        • Those are usually for additional pieces here and there that the team hopes can help push them over the top. A trade like this is a bigger deal usually involving more valuable assets. Again, if George was a lock to go to LA no one would trade for him, especially not OKC who just lost KD a season ago and have not proven themselves to be a free agent destination yet (meaning they have to become one or build through the draft). I’m not saying he’ll resign in OKC, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did just leave to go to LA in a year…but my point was that OKC wouldn’t make this deal unless they had some confidence (even if it was miniscule or misguided) that they could resign him in a year.

        • KnicksCavsFan

          Typically, teams don’t trade for a player of PGs caliber as a trade deadline deal because

          a) Those teams usually are very good teams already that are looking for that final “push” and would have to trade an important piece of their starting line-up to acquire him (think in terms of salary matching and what the trading team would deem valuable).

          b) Those teams probably can’t offer top picks (Celtic situation isn’t the norm) to their trade partner.

    • KnicksCavsFan

      How do you relate what OKC gave up to the idea that PG is going to leave next year? I would say he IS leaving OKC next year simply because well……it’s OKC.

  11. dodgerfan711

    Once again the Celits prove to be nothing but talk. Another underwhelming trade package they dont match

    • Montezuma

      All talk? Who from the Celtics is talking? The answer is no one. I don’t see anyone from the team or management telling anyone that they are going to do anything. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s the media, fans, and people like us on the message boards. Collectively we blow everything out of proportion and spread misinformation like wildfire. We are all just ASSUMING that the Celtics want all these guys and just keep failing to land them. You’re seeing a mirage buddy.

      • So you’re saying that the Celtics’s rumored targets are just that…rumors? Despite reports to the contrary from trusted journalists reporting the Celtics interest in certain players? Even if we assume the wild theory that the Celtics weren’t interested in these guys, that speaks even worse of their front office than them not making a deal. If the Celtics front office wasn’t interested at all in these players, that means they aren’t interested in making their team better, even if it is for a short time.

      • dodgerfan711

        Celtic fans have been nonstop talking about how they are going to get everyone. You have to be living under a rock to not realize that. Danny ainge even said “its great to be a celtic” fan right now. That is implying big moves are coming. And no a lot of draft picks are not exciting. Ainge is so stingy with his draft picks

  12. As a Lakers fan it’s ok as long George doesn’t go to the cavs and celtics

    • When? When more than half of the draft picks he has had/will have are playing for other teams, or worse, out of the league? Or when he loses one of Thomas/Bradley/Smart for nothing?

  13. formerlyz

    Yoooooooooooooooooooooooo JT19 called it lol. Good call. Wow. They gave up Oladipo and Sabonis for 1 year of PG. Great deal for Indiana. I think they maybe could have taken an offer with multiple guards/wings back, but they got back a guy that obviously played in Indiana in college, and I still think he is going to be a really good player. If he has shooting around him, I think that will help him a lot offensively.

    Meanwhile OKC is going for it all right now, and that has to be commended. They have to move Kanter and Singler somehow. If they can, they can grab the shooters they need, and they’re legit

  14. KnicksCavsFan

    I would not be completely floored if PG is traded again in the next few days. Maybe a 3-team trade was too difficult to work out in totality but broken down into two separate deals made more sense?

    Yikes. I mean, George and Westbrook is not bad but they still need more inorder to compete with the GSW and Houston and I’m assuming this is OKC throwing their hat into the arms race.

  15. Anthonybadabucchi

    This was a good trade for OKC even if George leaves next offseason because they unloaded the Ridiculous contract they gave to Oladipo, couple more moves like sign and trade Roberson get a power forward that plays defense a Marvin Williams, sign Z-Bo, can be a very interesting offseason for the Thunder!

  16. rycm131

    Forgive my ignorance but is Olidipo any good? I thought recently he was the butt of jokes because he was so bad?

    • He’s overpaid but he is a solid, if unspectacular, player. He isn’t a championship team’s first or second option, but he can be a solid third option, or in Indy’s case, a young-ish player that they can put with Turner to help build around. He’s decent enough to not make the Pacers a complete bottom-feeder team.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        Yeah but do you really want to invest 4/$84 mil? Not me. Great move for OKC to move his contract. I like Steve Adams too but he’s about to get paid a ridiculous 4/$100 starting next year.

        • formerlyz

          Kanter and Singler are the issue. Oladipo probably would have been good enough for them if they had any shooting around him and Westbrook. This is pretty risky for OKC, but if they can add the shooters they need, they could be legit this year

        • I wouldn’t lol. But its gives the Pacers someone who might be able to fill the seats (and Oladipo’s Indiana connection definitely helps) and with Teague and Miles all but gone the Pacers needed someone who could score. But yeah, great move by OKC to move his contract as well. Even if George leaves at the end of the year, that’s roughly $20 million they’ve cleared from the cap (and they actually saved a bit of money in this deal too).

  17. hill

    A lot of people saw this coming. Oladipo is an obvious fit in IND and the money matches pretty well. Presti’s got no cap space and an MVP he’s terrified of losing so he had to add to the team.

  18. SD Speak For Myself

    Live in SD…surrounded by lakers fans but life long Pacers fan. Oladipo is IU guy and will sell seats. Pacers will need that. Sabines was best big coming from college last year. He’s a dog…will guard you…will get the rebound. He’s got some fire in the belly. All you Celtics haters….get off Ainge. Boston was #1 seed this year and Hayward will make them better. Paul George is overrated and over paid. He’s an LA kid…not staying in Boston…his family/friends would disown him. Why should Danny give up anything? No one beating Warriors next year anyway. Buy some time…keep the picks…keep building!

  19. Hey Magic since the pacers are willing to
    Take on overpaid contracts like oladipo
    How bout we trade loul deng for sabonis
    Keep the momentum going!

  20. Scott

    Anyone familiar with OKC’s cap situation? I wonder if they had room to sign Milsap to play the 4 and resign Roberson. OKC also needs a backup PG and I could seem them going after someone like MCW for cheap.

    • Last I remembered, they were projected to have the second highest cap hit of all teams next season (behind Portland and obviously not accounting for free agent signings). The George deal clears up some room, but not a lot. They probably don’t have the room to sign Millsap.

  21. Grant

    Dumb you give away young talent for a rental who will be in Westbrook’s ear all year about going to LA together. I don’t like this move at all

  22. bearsfan49055

    The Pacers are dumbasses! The Celtics offered 3 first round picks & 2 starters and Indiana said they’d think on it. This was before the draft.

  23. TwinsHomer

    Man are trades interesting! It seems from all the news that it would have been very silly not to accept the celtics package if it included multiple 1st round picks possibly even the #1 this year?!? But then again we will never know because I doubt we ever truly find out exactly what the celtics formally offered. All and all this seems like a light return from Indys prospective.

    • TwinsHomer

      Another note… The wolves acquire a 2018 Thunder first rounder for Rubio…. then hours later the Thunder go all in on 2018 making it a very likely high 20s pick (maybe still would have been anyways?) Wonder if the wolves still accept that deal knowing George was going to OKC?

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