Reports are pouring in from all over the internet stating that Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti has kicked off the 2017 free agency season with a huge bang. In what is being labeled as a block-buster trade, the Thunder are sending Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Indiana Pacers for 4-time All-Star, Paul George. All the details are not completely clear at this time, but if the Thunder were able to pull this deal off with just Oladipo and Sabonis, it’s obvious the Pacers were not getting the types of offers they were hoping to field for a player many consider a top 15 talent in the league.
Securing a player of George’s caliber, even one that may turn into just a one year rental, (the final year of George’s contract being a player’s option) should send a clear message to newly crowned MVP Russell Westbrook that the Thunder are not willing to sit back and squander his prime years. Westbrook is eligible to sign a new franchise player contract worth over $220 M over 5 years any time after midnight July 1 and a move as bold as this should grease the wheels to make that happen. Rumor has it that Oklahoma City will make that offer at 12:01 edt and sources close to the Thunder superstar say that Westbrook is about to become the highest paid player in NBA history.
Even more important, by combining Westbrook and George the Thunder is sending a message to the league and to their own fans....WE’RE BACK!!