Today was a huge day for the NBA. Paul George and Ricky Rubio joined the Thunder and Jazz respectively. With the insanity that has already gone on this year, these moves have fallen relatively under the radar.
The Pacers traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in return for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
I hate this trade for both teams.
Obviously the Pacers got completely screwed over. They just traded away a top 10 NBA player for a couple of young roleplayers. They didn’t even get a pick! To think that they were asking for Jayson Tatum, Avery Bradley, and Jaylen Brown from the Celtics, and that they only received Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis is depressing.
Even with Paul George’s eventual departure to the Lakers in the 2018 offseason, he holds more value than that. If people thought that what the Kings got for Cousins was a joke, I don’t know what they would consider that haul.
I also don’t like this trade for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook is coming off of one of the best seasons in NBA history and seemed very happy in Oklahoma City. The acquisition of Paul George is interesting, but won’t get the Thunder any closer to a title. Next year, Westbrook and George are going to play well together, probably leading the Thunder to a homecourt advantage in the playoffs. They’ll lose in the playoffs to either the Warriors or Rockets and Paul George will sign with the Lakers in free agency. Following free agency, Russell Westbrook will be looking at a team with absolutely no talent with a one year contract.
In the long run, this move will make it harder to keep Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City long term.
Ricky Rubio was also traded to the Utah Jazz in return for a lottery protected first round pick.
While I still don’t love this trade, at least it makes sense for each side.
Ricky Rubio wasn’t going to be a good fit in Minnesota next year. Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, and Karl-Anthony Towns will have the ball in their hands for the majority of the game. They need a point guard that can play off ball and shoot threes to surround that core.
For Utah, I love this trade. Do I think this puts them in the same conversation as the Warriors and Rockets? No. I’m not an idiot, but this trade may be a deciding factor for Gordon Hayward to remain in Utah. Hayward has never gotten to experience playing with a great playmaker. Trey Burke, Dante Exum, George Hill, Shelvin Mack, and Mo Williams are a short list of point guards that Gordon Hayward has played alongside. I notice a trend. None of them can play point guard. They are all basically shooting guards; they play off ball and can’t create a lot for their teammates.
Gordon Hayward is going to take a look at Utah, and see the best defensive center in the league, a couple great shooters, and a point guard that will actually pass (what a concept). This is a lot more intriguing than the previous Jazz team, and I actually see him staying now.
I can’t wait for free agency.