The Oklahoma City Thunder gambled when it rolled the dice and traded for Superstar Paul George. On the face of the deal, it was a genius move by general manager Sam Presti to get a top-10 player. Trading two young players for an established player without sacrificing depth is big. However it was still a risk.
Paul George has a player option for next year that he all but confirmed he’s opting out of. Sending out two young talents for a potential 1-year rental sounds like bad management. But the Oklahoma City is up for the challenge of convincing PG-13 to call this city, “home”.
When the trade was announced, social media exploded thinking about the possibilities with this pairing. When Paul George officially touched down in Oklahoma City, he was showered with love by the fans. T-Shirts, signs and cheers were all there the moment he stepped off the plane.
In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Paul George talked about Oklahoma City feeling like home. He also has said the Thunder have the chance to be special and with great reason. Between George and the 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook, the Thunder have a high ceiling.
Same Story, Different Ending?
For the city of Oklahoma City, they’ve seen this movie before and want to write a different ending. Having a superstar player, winning a lot of games, go far in the playoffs, but ultimately come up short. Then said superstar leaves for whatever reason (better opportunity to win, money, etc.). Whether at the hands of management or free agency, OKC fans have faced this before. First it was James Harden, then it was Kevin Durant.
Oklahoma City offers a community feeling that other teams just can’t offer. OKC rallied behind Westbrook when KD left. Now, it is rallying around Paul George. It’s not just about them welcoming him to this family. It’s about George embracing the city and building something truly unique with the Thunder.
While nothing is for sure known about Paul George’s future plans, his immediate presence has already created a positive buzz in the city.
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