Paul George was the talk of the NBA offseason this year and the Indiana Pacers were hopeful that they could bring in a star or two to surround him with to make another run at the NBA Finals. He had told general manager Kevin Pritchard early on in the offseason that he was excited about the future in Indiana, but that quickly changed and George stated that he would not re-sign with the Pacers in free agency following the 2017-18 season.
Immediately, the Pacers’ entire offseason plan took a complete turn. Instead of building around George, Pritchard was forced to begin searching for trades that would send George out of town. It was a moment of chaos and anger for the Pacers’ franchise and fan base.
Right off the bat, George made it clear that he wanted to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. He even instructed his agent to tell other teams not to trade for George because his client wanted to play in L.A. Despite that attempt to sabotage the Pacers’ trade talks, Indiana found quite a bit of interest in George.
While there was interest in George, the Pacers knew that they would not get a huge return due to the circumstances that their franchise player had put them in.
the city of indianapolis belongs to victor oladipo and victor oladipo only pic.twitter.com/gr7NXPqojf
— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) December 7, 2017
Teams like the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, and Boston Celtics were all rumored to be in trade talks with the Pacers for George. Then, out of the blue, Pritchard pulled the trigger on a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire both Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in exchange for George.
Following the move, the national media crucified the Pacers for what was viewed as a terrible return for George. Oladipo was underrated and Sabonis was viewed as an afterthought.
Now that we are a quarter of the way through the NBA season, the Pacers are looking like winners.
Oladipo has not only surprised the Pacers, he has taken the NBA by storm. He has become one of the top scorers in the NBA and is one of the league’s most prolific shooting guards. At this point in time, he appears to be an obvious choice for the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Victor Oladipo go-ahead game-winning 3. Pacers come all the way back again. pic.twitter.com/V9SkGBdHFq
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 7, 2017
Throughout the course of the 2017-18 season to this point, Oladipo has averaged 23.2 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Oladipo has shot 48.3 percent from the field overall and has knocked down 43.7 percent of his three-point attempts.
Indiana has gotten off to a great start this season as well behind Oladipo’s leadership role. They are currently 14-11 and have a better record than George and the Thunder.
— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) December 7, 2017
Oladipo has taken the Pacers as his team and has made the fans forget about George. There is no denying that Indiana is Oladipo’s city.
George will make his return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse next Wednesday. Indiana fans are not expected to be all that welcoming to him when he is announced. Oladipo, on the other hand, will likely receive and even more deafening ovation than normal.
Each and every game, Oladipo is erasing the memory of PG13 from the minds of Pacers fans.