Ever since he took over as the go-to-guy for the Indiana Pacers, Paul George has been one of the best and most respected players in the league. His presence in both ends of the court would suit any contending team on earth.
That’s why there were plenty of suitors when he told the Pacers that he wanted out of the team. George was frustrated by the team’s lack of effort to improve the roster by adding another All-Star and he demanded his agent to find him a new home.
George ended up joining forces with Russell Westbrook in the Oklahoma City Thunder for a two-year stint but even though they developed an instant rapport on and off the court, it seems like PG didn’t actually want to go there at the time, as he recently said on an appearance on Cold As Balls: Cold Calls from Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud:
“OKC honestly came out the blue…When my agent called me and told me ‘I think you’re going to Oklahoma’ It f*cked me up. No knock on Oklahoma but I’ve been in Indy for seven years. Indy is lowkey, it’s quiet. I didn’t think it can get quieter than there. So I was a little f*cked up when he said Oklahoma,” George told Hart.
Needless to say, the trade worked out perfectly for everybody involved. The Pacers got two building blocks for the future on Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo, George could play for a contending team, and the Thunder got another All-Star to play next to Westbrook.
Even so, if you take a look at the bigger picture, George’s arrival further helped the Thunder when they traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers, as they got plenty of return in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks from the Clippers, two picks from Miami and the rights to swap picks in 2023 and 2025.
As for George, he ended up teaming up with the best two-way player in the league in Kawhi Leonard, so it’s pretty safe to assume that he has no complaints about how things worked out in the end.