Paul George gained celebrity status after pulling back-to-back amazing playoff performances for the Pacers and Thunder. He averaged 27 ppg+ thrice in the past four post-seasons before joining the Clippers.
PG was the overall 10th pick in 2010. He went to the Pacers and played seven seasons, helping them qualify for two conference finals. However, he was then traded to the OKC in return for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. With the Thunder, he later struck a win-win deal for himself in 2018.
Thunder pitched Paul George a reasonable offer
The Thunder signed PG, believing he could drag them deeper into the playoffs. But in 2018, the OKC lost to the Utah Jazz in round 1 itself. Nevertheless, the Thunder decided to re-sign Paul for the upcoming season. For that, they used Don Vito Corleone’s strategy from The Godfather Trilogy; they made him an offer he could not refuse.
An NBA insider recently revealed, “From what I understand, basically the Thunder told him, ‘Paul, re-sign with us and if you feel like you want to move on, come to us and we will work together with you to accommodate you.’ Which is in fact what happened.”
PG signed a humongous $136.9 million 4-year contract in his free agency. But he also had a cushion to fall back on, in case he decided to take his services to any other franchise.
Why was he traded to the Clippers?
In the 2019 playoffs, the Thunder again repeated the same result. This time it was even worse as they lost round 1 in just five games against the Blazers. PG can not be blamed for the loss because he had averaged 28.6 points at 43.6% FG that post-season. So perhaps it was time for him to use the card that Sam Presti’s organization handed him.
The time was right when it was a surety that the two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, was moving to the Clippers. PG joined the wagon after being persistent in his demand for a trade. The Thunder received Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round picks, and two pick swaps in return for an expensive George.
Whether George was good enough for the Clippers or not is known to everyone. But he at least got what he demanded.
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