Paul George trade grades average at best for the Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers, Paul George
Indiana Pacers, Paul George /

We’re still reeling from the bombshell news of Paul George being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, so we made Tony East write about it instead of us.

The Pacers have traded franchise icon Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Paul George, who can opt out of his contract at the end of this season, has made it clear to teams in the league he will be joining the Lakers when he is a free agent.

The Thunder do not care. They wanted to pair another superstar with Russell Westbrook, even if it is just for one year, and they did it. The Thunder will now surely be one of the league’s most exciting teams, and the Pacers will enter a rebuilding era. Let’s grade the trade for both teams, starting with Paul Georges new team

Oklahoma City Thunder: B+

You might think this is a low grade for them, and I understand. The Thunder just got Paul freaking George! That is crazy and they deserve an A right?

Well I grade trades based upon this question: How much did you improve the future of your franchise? The Thunder clearly improved their franchise, but by how much.

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The team will surely be better next year. They have two All-Stars now and the former MVP. But looking past that year, things get bleak.

If Paul George sticks to his word and heads to the Lakers next summer, the third best Thunder player would likely be someone like Doug McDermott or Enes Kanter. Oh, and theres a chance Russell Westrook could be a free agent at that time too. So they traded away two of their best young players, and next summer it could look really bad for them. But in a vacuum…

They look like clear winners. They traded for Paul George, and all they gave up was a 21-year-old who wasn’t super impressive his rookie year in Sabonis, and traded away a two guard who lost value throughout his only season with the Thunder in Oladipo. So the Thunder get a B+ for making the most out of there assets, at the expense (possibly) of their future.

Indiana Pacers: C

Can’t spell OKC without the C. The Pacers are getting a C from me, using the same criteria that I used to grade the trade for the Thunder.

Did the Pacers front office do a bad job with the trade itself? Not at all. Oladipo just averaged 17 points per game as a 24-year-old, and Sabonis showed a lot of promise as a shooting big man his rookie season. The two of them combined to start almost every game with the Thunder and both proved to be serviceable offensive players.

Pritchard said he wanted young starter for PG and he got just that. Nobody saw OKC as a team that could offer that, but the Pacers were able to get what they wanted out of the Thunder.

I give the Pacers a C for limiting their future by being impatient. Had the Pacers waited into free agency, the offers would have almost surely gone up. Boston could have gotten involved as well as more aggressive offers from Cleveland. At worst, wait and see if the offers go up during free agency and make the trade later, I doubt the Thunder would have pulled their offer any time soon.

Next: Twitter reacts to the Paul George trade

Who knows how either of these teams will do next season. Both teams seem to think they got what they wanted in the trade, and only time will tell what the real trade grades are.