The NBA world underwent another massive seismic shift when Kawhi Leonard decided to join the Clippers, with Los Angeles also trading for Paul George to help seal the deal.
By adding a pair of stars to an already strong, deep team, the Clippers now become likely title favorites, but the Thunder suddenly enter a rebuild a summer after thinking they had put together a contending core for the foreseeable future. George reportedly pushed his way out of Oklahoma City after having conversations with Leonard in Los Angeles this past week.
Shortly after that meeting, George requested a trade from the Thunder to the Clippers that “blindsided” the team, per Royce Young of ESPN, but as he and Ramona Shelburne report, the team saw it as a better option to acquiesce to his request rather than deal with a potentially “disgruntled” star.
Earlier in the night, there was a report that there was “discontent” in OKC with Westbrook and George — although, it was vague as to whether it was between the stars or towards the organization. It’s clear the Thunder weren’t trying to deal with a circus in OKC for the season, once reports of a request ultimately got out had they refused it.
Given the haul they got, which is four unprotected first round picks, one protected first, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Galinari, that was probably a wise decision. It’s a strong return for a star and should help them reset and rebuild going forward after stalling out the last two years in the first round of the playoffs.