Paul George Trade: Can the Oklahoma City Thunder Keep George?

It was quite evident that Paul George was going to get traded this summer. The only question was where he was going to be traded. After the Paul George trade to Oklahoma City there was mixed reviews. Many believed that the Thunder got a steal by getting George and basically giving up nothing in return. Others believed that the Thunder were desperate and would lose George after this season since he made it clear he wanted to play for the Lakers. So the one question that will be discussed all season long is will the Thunder be able to keep Paul George?

No Respect

The Thunder acquired George, but no one outside of Oklahoma City is buying into this team. The latest NBA betting odds show that the Thunder are not even favorites to win the Northwest Division. The Minnesota Timberwolves are the favorites (+180) with the Thunder (+220) right behind them.

When it comes to projected win totals, the Thunder are far down the list in the West. The Warriors (67.5) Rockets (56.5) and Spurs (55.5) are all predicted to have more wins according to the top rated online sports betting sites. This is the full list of 2017-18 NBA Regular Season Win Totals to include teams that are pacing the league and some surprises.

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Paul Pushed the Pacers

You have to hand it to George he is smart. He forced the Pacers to trade him. The Pacers knew that they would not get much because they had lost leverage. George made it very clear to everyone that he wanted to play with the Lakers and would do just that once he became a free agent. Now he is in a position to control his own destiny after next year. But first he has to do some damage control.

Paul George Trade: Can the Oklahoma City Thunder Keep George?

Paul George Trade: Can the Oklahoma City Thunder Keep George?

Paul Impressing the Press

If George wants to have a good season he has to make sure that the Thunder welcomes him and he is not viewed as a rental. SO he instantly set out to shelve the Lakers talk and focus on the Thunder.

“I’m playing this game to win and build a legacy of winning. I’ve yet to do that. I’m searching for it. If we get a killer season in Oklahoma, we make the conference finals or upset the Warriors or do something crazy, I’d be dumb to want to leave that.”

He then went on to help out Kevin Durant by giving him some good press in OKC, something he has not had since he announced he was leaving.

“KD was like, ‘That place will blow you away,’” George says. “He told me, ‘They can offer what other teams can’t in terms of the people and the preparation and the facility, down to the chefs and the meals.’ He was pretty high on them. He thought it was a first-class organization in every way.”

So far George is saying all of the right things.

Displaying Defense

There is no doubt that George will be able to play alongside Russell Westbrook. One of the great things about Paul George is that he plays defense. Along with defenders Andre Roberson and Steven Adams, the Thunder could provide a force defensively. While no one will believe that they can beat the Warriors, a stout defense could put them ahead of teams like the Houston Rockets.

Will He Stay or Will He Go?

The Thunder will not win the NBA title although they will be better than most people think. Outside of winning a championship, George will not stay in Oklahoma City. In fact I don’t believe he stays if they win a championship. Not only will the Thunder lose Paul George because of this trade, they may alos lose Westbrook.