The Los Angeles Lakers recently saw one of their trade targets this offseason be sent elsewhere, as Paul George has reportedly been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With free agency nearly here in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the NBA had to be shocked to see the Indiana Pacers trade Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For most of the offseason, George has been one of the most highly talked about names. After announcing that he wouldn’t be re-signing with the Pacers, the organization was forced to move their star. What didn’t help the Pacers was that George also stated that he would prefer to play for the Lakers when he becomes a free agent.
With a good young core and money to spend, the Lakers are certainly a desirable destination to play for once again. Shortly after the news broke that George was available, the Lakers were one of the teams that reportedly tried to acquire him.
Despite the reported offer of Julius Randle with the 27th and 28th overall picks in the draft, no deal was done. While it became clear the Pacers were looking for more, they ended up settling for a lot less.
What might have been more shocking than seeing George traded to the Thunder, was the return that the Pacers got for him. The Thunder reportedly only sent Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in exchange for George.
While these were both former lottery picks, neither have lighted it up in the NBA. Also, Oladipo has already received a large contract, which he did not live up to in Oklahoma City. For the Thunder, this is a great deal to try and get Westbrook to sign a long-term extension.
From a Lakers point of view, they have to be somewhat confused about why the Pacers didn’t take their offer. Randle certainly has a lot of upside, and two first-round picks in a loaded class were certainly valuable. Randle will have to be paid soon, but he is a young player with a lot of potential.
Even though George is teaming up with Russell Westbrook, the Lakers shouldn’t worry too much about this hurting their chances to sign him in the offseason. While the Thunder are certainly better, they still will struggle to dethrone the Warriors in the Western Conference.