Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George is headed to Oklahoma City after being traded for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
After many rumors of different teams getting involved in the Paul George sweepstakes (Cleveland, Boston, LA, Washington), the Oklahoma City Thunder swooped in and flipped an atrocious Oladipo contract all by just including a young prospect in Sabonis in his rookie deal.
And they did so without giving up any draft picks!
What does this mean for the Lakers though? It means we’re still very much in the running for George next summer. Now some might argue, “why would he leave a contender in OKC for a rebuilding team in the Lakers?”.
Without a doubt, the Thunder are a playoff team. But in a stacked western conference, is anyone, outside of Thunder fans, really picking them to come out of the west? Last time I checked, Russell Westbrook was once paired with superstar small forward, and it didn’t exactly turn into a championship. Plus, the Warriors and the Spurs still play on the same conference, so while it’s still possible, it’s unlikely George commits long term with the Thunder when multiple reports have indicated that he will only sign an extension if the team a) wins a title or b) is the Lakers.
Westbrook, a superstar talent himself and current reigning league MVP, could very well convince George to stay in Oklahoma City. But the same could be said about George, who also has one full year to convince Westbrook of joining him to come back to their hometown: LA.
With Chris Paul joining the Rockets with James Harden, Jimmy Butler joining the young core of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and now George teaming up with Westbrook, the almighty west just got a whole lot better. With the All Star Game set to be played in LA, and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss openly saying that she wants an all star to represent her team, it’s doubtful that an all star is selected from the Lakers current roster.
Overall, this trade has the whole league shook, and probably set off a domino effect that will continue to fall through summer ’18 and beyond.