Thunder to boost presence with George signing

July 5, 2017 by  

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George is on the move to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New York Times has reported.

The news was not public knowledge until the beginning of this month, when ESPN announced the move. The decision came hours before free agency began.

George has been with the Pacers for seven years and been an All-Star three times. He will work with Russell Westbrook, who is the MVP for the NBA whom representatives hope will convince him to join the Thunder. Westbrook is set to get a $200m maximum extension for five years, making him one of the best paid players in the league.

The 6’9” forward told the Pacers that once his contract was up next year, he was going to be a free agent. Instead of keeping him on another year, the team traded him. Oklahoma City traded two players, power forward Domantas Sabonis and shooting guard Victor Oladipo.

The Cavaliers and Celtics showed interest in George, who normally scores around 23 points and six rebounds per season. He hopes to play for the Lakers next year, meaning the Thunder will have money for players with higher statistics, likely giving the Thunder little to lose in the deal.

The teams could make banners welcoming the new players when all of the contracts are finalized. Teams that will benefit from trades next year can do the same.