Thunder GM Sam Presti speaks on Paul George’s return to OKC as a member of the Clippers
PG13 will return to OKC for the first time as a member of a visiting team since the summer 2019 trade sent him to L.A.
“I’ve said this before, [Paul George] was a class act with our organization and community,” Presti said of George. “He stayed when he had other options, and he showed respect for our fans, community, and our organization not only while he was with us but also since he has gone back home to Los Angeles. I’m hopefully people recognize that when they think about his tenure.”
George, 29, arrived in Oklahoma City following a trade with the Indiana Pacers in July 2017. The six-time All-Star spent just two seasons in America’s heartland before the Thunder traded him again to the Clippers.
While George was dealt and didn’t sign as a free agent elsewhere (like Kawhi Leonard’s departure from the Toronto Raptors), his change of the teams in the offseason was hardly coincidental. After all, the former Most Improved Player joined forces with Leonard in the pair’s hometown of Los Angeles.
OKC reached the playoffs in both years of George’s tenure (along with ex-MVP Russell Westbrook), but they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in back-to-back years.
Due to the early eliminations and unceremonious exit (although via trade), it’s unclear what reception Paul George will receive on Sunday in OKC.