Paul George Reveals Bold Take On 2019 Clippers-Thunder Trade

Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA News
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In his recent outing, Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George dropped a season-high 38 points in a 128-117 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The eight-time All-Star played in OKC for two NBA seasons from 2017 to 2019 before the Thunder traded him to L.A. for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and several first-round picks and pick swaps.

After his Jan. 16 masterclass, George told Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated that both the Clippers and the Thunder won the 2019 blockbuster trade that sent George to the City of Angels. 

“I just think both sides won,” George said. “I did think it had quite a lot that the Clippers were willing to give up. Their commitment to me is my commitment to them.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Gilgeous-Alexander suffered a rare off night as he scored a quiet 19 points on 6-16 shooting with a team-worst plus-minus of -19. The Canadian combo guard also shot 0-3 from beyond the arc.

Despite his lackluster performance, SGA is still on track for his second straight All-NBA First Team selection. He has made a legitimate case for league MVP this season, leading the Thunder to a 27-13 record and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The former Clipper has averaged 31 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on a ridiculous 55.2% clip from the field.

Needless to say, OKC fans can’t complain about the team they have built around SGA since acquiring him nearly five years ago. Clippers fans shouldn’t complain much either, given the fine season they have put together with a relatively healthy squad. Without George’s arrival in Los Angeles, Kawhi Leonard probably would have never joined the Clippers in the first place. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

George, who currently averages 23.9 points and 5.5 rebounds, showed gratitude for the present stage of his career. At 33 years old, the future Hall-of-Famer has stayed injury-free all season, enjoying every moment of his ongoing basketball journey.

“I just love where I’m at in my career and where I’m at in this point in my life,” George told Esnaashari.

PG-13 has been lights-out with his long-range jumper this season, leading to a career-best 42.1% mark from three. George has also fired up his most 3-point attempts (8.7 3PA per game) since becoming a Clipper.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Since trading for James Harden, Los Angeles has emerged as a serious title contender. The Clippers have fully bounced back from their 3-7 start to the season, winning 23 of their last 30 contests. If George and his superstar teammates can stay healthy for the playoffs, the sky is the limit for the Clippers.

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