On June 30, following weeks of rhetoric, the Indiana Pacers met Paul George’s trade demands by moving him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
After repeated first-round playoff exits, George, 27, faced a contract year with idle 42-40 Indiana, and clarified his desire to chase victories elsewhere.
And though much hearsay exists concerning where the four-time All Star may land next season, for now, George and reigning-MVP teammate Russell Westbrook look to ascend the Western Conference rankings.
However, along the way, PG13 has an anticipated Dec 13 return date with his former employer. Never shy, George tweeted this declaration after learning the details of Oklahoma City’s 17-18 regular season schedule:
Yes Indiana, Dec. 13th will be a special night for me too! We all will have different reasons!— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) August 15, 2017
While not as bitter as LeBron James’ 2010 unyoking from Cleveland, or Kevin Durant’s spurning of OKC, George will no doubt meet some derision when he enters Banker’s Life Fieldhouse as opposition.
Paul George‘s breakup with the Indiana Pacers wasn’t messy, but things didn’t end in an ideal manner. George told... https://t.co/xvIVNJZOHY— 233 Live News (@233LiveNews) August 15, 2017
During 448 contests with Indiana, George earned three All-NBA nods and averaged 19.8 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG to etch his name among the Pacers’ short-list of franchise standouts.
Further, after a traumatic 2014 leg break, upon returning, George’s determination earned the two-way catalyst consecutive All-Star nods and a 23.8 PPG average last season.
The completeness of George’s recovery has led many pundits to decry Indiana’s recent move which yielded Victor Oladipo’s remaining four-year $84 M salary as a main return asset.
Likewise, insiders were duly floored by Sam Presti’s sly one-year attainment of George. A bold move which includes an exclusive courtship period that will likely amplify when George re-enters his former Hoosier haunts.