5 reasons why the Thunder will trade Paul George
Paul George is one of the most talented small forwards in the NBA. His length, shooting, and defense make him a cornerstone piece for any team. When George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer, it was believed that George would stick it out with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
On paper, the trio sounds dangerous. Though, on the court, the Thunder have failed to sustain any progress with the three superstars. Hence, George would have almost no reason to stick around with the Thunder at the end of the season.
That’s why the Thunder are probably shopping him right now. After all, it would be better to trade George than let him walk away. Here are five reasons why the Thunder will trade George soon.
5. He doesn’t fit
So far, Paul George is averaging 19.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 3.2 apg. He is currently shooting 40 percent from the field and from deep, which isn’t all that bad. In fact, everyone speculated that George would effectively play off the ball. The bad news is that George doesn’t fit in the Thunder’s system, and he most likely never will. That’s because the Oklahoma City’s system is Russell Westbrook. The reigning NBA MVP is the floor general. He has the ball at all time, and he treats Anthony and George like they are spot up shooter. George thrives with the ball in his hand, not when he is thrown the ball and expected to score.
Head coach Billy Donovan has probably noticed George’s ill fit with the Thunder’s offensive scheme. If he hasn’t then Sam Presti, the general manager, has surely noticed. Instead of wasting a year trying to incorporate a player that just doesn’t fit, Presti should trade George for pieces that can help the Thunder win now. It might not be enough time to try anything else.
4. He won’t commit
In the offseason, Presti had a tough task on his hands. He had to get Westbrook to commit long-term to the Thunder and accept max money. Of course, Westbrook accepted, but there he probably didn’t expect George to become his teammate. George is definitely a different person. He hasn’t indicated that he will sign with the Thunder once the season is over. This is especially true since the Thunder have shown him nothing so far. If the Thunder goes to the playoffs and is embarrassed, George may not even consider a comeback to the Thunder.
That presents a major problem to Presti. He knows that George is a great talent that can help the Thunder win games, but allowing George to leave for nothing in return would be disastrous. The Thunder already were surprised when Durant left for greener pastures, so George’s eventual move somewhere else should not surprise them. They should expect it.
Obviously, the Thunder are getting offers for George with the NBA trade deadline is approaching. If the Thunder gets a good deal, do not expect George to stay in a Thunder jersey for very long.
3. The Thunder have to win now
When Oklahoma City signed Russell Westbrook to a max deal, they put themselves in a tight spot. With Westbrook tied down for the foreseeable future, the Thunder have to win now. You don’t give max contracts to players and rebuild down the stretch. You do so to let your players know that success is around the corner. Though, why should success have to start later? It can start now. Right now, the Thunder aren’t performing well. So, they should trade Paul George to put themselves in a position to win right now. With Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, the Thunder should be fine, especially if they get valuable pieces in exchange for the coveted small forward.
Westbrook managed to take a broken team to the playoffs last year. However, with more complementary pieces, Oklahoma City will do better and take the load off of Westbrook. One thing to remember is that Westbrook and the Thunder were 6th seed last year as they took on the Rockets. This year, they are currently in the sixth seed. That’s a big problem, especially with the amount of talent that the team has this year.
2. They need more help
If the Thunder are going to contend now, they need to get more help. That includes more support in the starting lineup and the second unit.
Can you imagine the return the Thunder would get in a Paul George trade?
The Thunder would potentially receive quality draft picks and players that can help them win now. The team should be focused on players that have already committed to the organization.
Since Paul George already has his foot outside of the door, what’s the use of keeping him around any longer?
One scenario could be trading George to the Los Angeles Lakers. This could be beneficial for both sides, mainly because George gets to return to his hometown, and the team can collect essential pieces from the Lakers’ hotbed of talent. If you’re thinking in the present, trading George seems like a terrible idea. But, if you’re thinking ahead in the future, trading George is necessary and will bring more value to the team. That will benefit the Presti and the franchise in the long run.
Remember when Durant left Oklahoma City with almost no indication?
George might just do the same. You never know.
1. He may ruin the chemistry
Russell Westbrook may just be one of the most gifted players in the NBA. However, his on-court antics are definitely hard to watch. It is true that Carmelo Anthony and most of his other teammates can deal with Westbrook because they are on the team long-term, but George doesn’t have to.
Again, Westbrook is the team’s floor general, and he holds the ball a lot. This won’t benefit Paul George, and it might even lead to conflict on the court.
That’s not to say that Westbrook and George will hate each other, but he definitely won’t stay if he realizes he can become a leader somewhere else.
In that case, the Oklahoma City should trade George before he becomes optimistic. This reason and the other above are simply why George must leave the Thunder franchise. If he doesn’t, the franchise is putting themselves in a position for another gut punch.