The Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to rebuild after essentially being forced to unload Paul George and Russell Westbrook over the summer, but George believes his former team came away just fine after dealing him to the Los Angeles Clippers.
After George’s go-ahead three-pointer with just over 25 seconds left helped the Clippers defeat Oklahoma City on Monday, the star swingman said he believes the trade OKC made involving him “worked out great.” He was complimentary of second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and veteran Danilo Gallinari, whom the Thunder acquired in the deal, and pointed to all the draft picks his former team landed.
“I thought it worked out great for them,” George said, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think Shai is a future star, and he’s proven that he can carry a load … him just being under (Chris Paul), he is going to learn so much. So they got a star.
“And Danilo is a proven big-time scorer. And then how many picks that they got? Their future is bright. Sam Presti is a proven expert at drafting.”
Gilgeous-Alexander is certainly off to a hot start, as he’s averaging 19.7 points per game. Gallinari was only involved in the deal to match salaries, but the Thunder landed a whopping five first-round picks in the George trade (two from the Miami Heat) and the rights to swap two future first-rounders. If you have to trade a star player, that is the way to do it.
Obviously, the Thunder would rather still have George and Westbrook. George is right that they will be in good hands with Presti building the roster, but there have been rumblings about him potentially leaving to join another organization. If that happens, it would be one of Oklahoma City’s biggest losses to date.
Paul George had a funny explanation on Saturday night for his hot scoring start to the season.
George made his season debut for the LA Clippers on Thursday night after missing the first 11 games as he recovered from offseason surgeries on both shoulders. He scored 33 points in Thursday’s loss and 37 in Saturday night’s 150-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Asked about averaging 35 points per game to start the season, George offering a humorous explanation.
Paul George on the key to his current efficiency: “New shoulders.”
It’s no surprise George is scoring well now that he’s had his shoulders repaired. The guy was on fire last season and an MVP candidate until injuring his shoulder.
Prior to the right shoulder injury in February, he was averaging 28.7 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting, including 40.3 percent from 3 on 9.6 attempts. After the injury, George averaged 26.1 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting, including 33.8 percent from 3 on 10.4 attempts. Seeing him back at MVP form now that he’s healthy is no surprise and a credit to his playing ability.
Paul George on Thursday night will make his debut for the LA Clippers after being acquired by them in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder over the summer. For his first game, George will not have a specific minutes limit, though that does not necessarily mean he will be playing 48 minutes.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said before the team’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans that they will use more of an eye test to judge when George needs some rest.
Doc Rivers indicated there’s no minutes limit, per se, for Paul George. “It's more visual. we're gonna watch him. If he shows any type of fatigue, he comes out.”
George missed the team’s first 11 games as he recovered from a pair of offseason shoulder surgeries. He had operations on both shoulders, and the Clippers knew he was unlikely to be ready for the start of the season.
George’s return will come as good timing for the Clippers, who will be without Kawhi Leonard, who is resting his knee.
Paul George’s long-awaited debut for the LA Clippers appears to be right around the corner.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported Wednesday that the Clippers are targeting either of a back-to-back set on the road next week for the star forward to make his return to the court. Specifically, those dates are Nov. 13 against the Houston Rockets and Nov. 14 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Clippers have gone 5-2 on the season thus far in the absence of George, who continues to recover from offseason procedures on both his shoulders.
Though the team is tied for the second-best record in the West and has the third-best offense in the entire NBA, they have just the 16th-ranked defense, which is where the four-time All-Defensive Teamer George should really help.
The Los Angeles Clippers have looked sharp while winning three of their first four games to start the season, and they have managed to score 121.5 points per game with Paul George watching from the bench. Assuming George does not suffer any type of setback, he should only be out for another two weeks.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said after Monday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets that he expected George to miss the first 10 games of the season, and that timeline has not changed.
Doc Rivers once again implied Paul George will miss 10 games. When asked about deciding on a starting lineup; he said his goal before PG returns was to “get through the 10 games.”
George, whom the Clippers acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer, underwent surgery on both of his shoulders over the offseason. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and rotator cuff in his right shoulder, and one of the injuries was so bad towards the end of the Thunder’s season that he could barely lift his arm. George still managed to be a finalist for both NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
While the Clippers seem to be just fine in the scoring department, George will help them defensively. They’ve played well early on, but things should get even better when George joins the team.
The LA Clippers have a stacked roster, but they will not have their full superstar power when they begin the season.
Paul George, whom the team acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer, underwent surgery on both of his shoulders over the offseason. During Clippers media day on Sunday, he said he was “far along” in his recovery and estimated to NBA TV that he was 85-90 percent recovered.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne also says George told her he is hoping to be back around November.
The return date for Paul George is a bit of a moving target. But he told me today he’s out all of training camp and hoping to be back “November-ish” catch the full interview in @SportsCenter later today.
George had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and rotator cuff for his right shoulder. George’s shoulder was so bad towards the end of the Thunder’s season that he could barely lift it. He still managed to be a finalist for both NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
“I was taken [a]back, because … I think Paul enjoyed his time here,” Donovan said. “I do think when he first came here, there was a lot of speculation. ‘This is only going to be a one-year experiment and then he’s going to want to get back to LA.’ Paul’s obviously got a lot of ties and affinity for LA and where he’s from. I get that part of it. I get that part for his family. His mom and dad are great people. Yeah, It catches you.”
The Southern California native George was traded per his request to the LA Clippers this summer, pairing him with fellow star forward Kawhi Leonard. George’s departure ended a two-year run with Donovan and the Thunder where he earned First Team All-NBA and All-Defensive honors but failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs with them.