When Paul George informed the Indiana Pacers he wanted to be traded over the summer, the All-Star small forward did not include the Oklahoma City Thunder as one of his preferred destinations.
It’s why the entire NBA community was in shock when news broke George was headed to the Thunder in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and big man Domantas Sabonis.
At the time of the trade, most experts were under the assumption that George’s stay in OKC was going to be for one year, and then he’ll head home in the summer of 2018 and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.
A lot has changed, though, since George was initially introduced as a member of the Thunder.
OKC not only acquired Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks, but locked up reigning MVP Russell Westbrook for the long term — two moves that have caught the eye of George and his camp.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, George will give Oklahoma City an audience next summer once he becomes a free agent. The 27-year-old is also highly impressed with the culture the Thunder have built and the guts the organization had to acquire him.
“The source says George has been impressed by the culture of the Thunder and how meticulous general manager Sam Presti and the organization are in building the roster and the franchise. George was impressed that the front office ‘had the guts,’ in the source’s words, to put everything on the line in getting him, and followed it up by getting Anthony without giving up any of the team’s core group.”