The world new Paul George was going to be traded leading into the 2017-2018 season, no one knew where though. It was shocking, if not jaw dropping, to have heard OKC and Sam Presti swung a deal for the second best two way player in the NBA.
Nearly a year after the trade, let's reevaluate what at first looked like a very lopsided deal.
Paul George, a pending free agent, was sent to OKC for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. George was coming off a 2016-2017 season where he averaged 23.7 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, and a respectable 46% field goal percentage. Victor Oladipo was on the other end of the spectrum, he was only a year into his OKC tenure where he was less than stellar. As for Sabonis, he had just finished his rookie year in OKC. On the face of it all, especially seeing how Indiana received no picks, this was a fleece by the Thunder.
When the trade first happened, the Thunder shot up the Western Conference predicted standings as they now had another solid wing to pair with Westbrook. Granted, Paul George seemed like a downgrade from Kevin Durant. That being said, it was still a huge improvement over Westbrook playing 5 on 1 again. The Thunder this year have had their issues and there's no way to hide that. Despite that Paul George has still shined in OKC and if you watched last nights game, he exploded against Utah. It may have taken a better part of a season to gel together, but man does Paul George look at home.
I pegged Indiana as a bottom dwelling team this year and before I get attacked by Pacer fans, can you really blame me? The roster seemed okay at best, Myles Turner was a gem, but past that you just traded your best player to get back a sophomore and Victor Oladipo. Well I was wrong, very very wrong. This years Pacer squad hung with the big guns in the East and punched with one hell of a hit too as they were led by Oladipo to 48 wins and 5th in the East. Oh and Oladipo just blew out Lebron James and the Cavaliers last night. I'm sorry for doubting you Oladipo and all of Indiana.
What looked like a theft of Paul George has turned into more of a balanced deal. As of today there's no clear winner and I think this trade will be debated for a few more years to come. The pendulum can swing drastically if PG leaves this summer, but reports are he's more than happy in OKC. For Indiana, their payoff is immediate. Oladipo has blossomed into a franchise cornerstone and he's under contract until 2021. Perhaps the big X factor will be Sabonis and how he develops. Domantas has put up very respectable numbers this year and how he grows will definitely push the trade needle in either teams favor.