The Indiana Pacers have finally traded Paul George but it’s not in Los Angeles, Cleveland, or in Boston. Instead, the Pacers have dealt the four-time All-Star to the OKC Thunder, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne on Friday night.
As part of the deal, the Pacers will acquire guard Victor Oladipo and second-year big man Domantas Sabonis, sources said.
The trade ends weeks of speculation regarding George, the 27-year-old forward who had committed to playing with the Pacers in 2017-18 but said he would become a free agent next offseason and preferred to join the Los Angeles Lakers. George is from Southern California.
George had been linked to several teams since, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets.
But the Thunder won out on the George sweepstakes, a move that no doubt leaves reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook happy and shifts another star player from the Eastern Conference to the West. The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls on draft night.
The Thunder have been pursuing trades to pair another star with Westbrook since draft week, pushing for deals for Butler and George, sources told ESPN’s Royce Young. With Westbrook eligible to sign a five-year extension, the Thunder wanted to remain proactive.