OKC Thunder In the news: Pacers shade and knee surgery for George

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 13: Victor Oladipo /

OKC Thunder In the news witnessed Paul George dominating press as he underwent a knee procedure and simultaneously took hits in the form of shade from his former team.

The OKC Thunder have a tumultuous summer ahead particularly when it comes to their free agents. Paul George is their primary concern understandably while Carmelo Anthony’s decision to opt in to a $27.9 million contract could have far reaching effects. Other notable free agents Jerami Grant, Raymond Felton and Corey Brewer will all need to be addressed as well.

Of those free agents retaining Jerami Grant would be the most desirable given his versatility in terms of the position and roles he can play. However, what Carmelo Anthony does could put the OKC Thunder in a difficult situation. Focus on this situation will grow especially once the decision from Anthony is known and more importantly George.

To that end, Paul George had an eventful May 9th as he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.

Paul George has arthroscopic knee procedure:

As Thunderous Intentions writer Alex Mcewen detailed Paul George had an arthroscopic procedure on Wednesday May 9. Mcewen noted just like Alex Abrines hernia surgery there was no early warning the surgery was scheduled. Not that anyone should be surprised by this as Sam Presti and the Thunder organization keep their cards close to the vest. Mcewen also noted George did hint at issues in his exit interview when he cited hip, knee, forearm and other ailments.

Notably the hip was the main issue cited during the playoffs. But, moving back to the stretch run George complained about his shooting stroke and uncertainty with what was wrong. What can be pulled from this is that the knee was the most concerning of the issues given he’s dealt with it first. Perhaps there will be other procedures to follow, but the takeaway would seem to indicate the hip and forearm are less concerning and may only require rest. Something George will get while he recuperates from the knee procedure.

Thunder Report:

OKC Thunder provided an extremely brief report on the surgery.

"OKLAHOMA CITY, May 9, 2018 – Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George underwent a successful left knee scope today, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.The Thunder, George and his representation collectively determined for the procedure to be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache with Thunder medical personnel present at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif."

Although the surgery was obviously necessary it does beg the question if the timing and doing it in conjunction with the Thunder offers any hints to his decision. It does seem to say he’s comfortable with OKC. Why else would he be working with the Thunder medical staff to take care of the issue. If there was a wide abyss between George and the team surely the Thunder medical personnel  wouldn’t have been on sight. Conversely, some might say “we’ll the surgery took place in LA, but that may be because George’s surgeon resides there. More likely, it’s because he has a home there and wants to recuperate at home.

Pacers GM Pritchard tosses subtle shade:

George’s knee procedure wasn’t the only news surfacing Wednesday May 9th. Indiana Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard talked with Dan Dakich of ESPN 1070 about the future for the Pacers.

As per Brad Berreman of FanSided Pritchard was asked about the potential of the Pacers having any interest in free agent Paul George. More specifically, if the Pacers would entertain discussing a reunion with their former star. Here’s Pritchard’s response:

"I would want to know first that he would fit us. We’re different now, Dan. One of the things we’re about, we don’t care about big names, we don’t care about big personalities we don’t care about big brands. What we care about is being humble …“Anybody that fits in, yeah we’re interested … I can’t talk on specific players. But if they don’t fit that, I’m not interested. It’s that simple."

In discussion with one of the BBoyz (Hey, Kevin – Happy Birthday!) he thought Pritchard left the door open. I’m on the opposite side of the fence feeling this was clearly shade being tossed. Why bring up status, personality, brands and being humble otherwise?

That’s a shot at George implying the Pacers have moved on to a new “type” of team structure as well as roster and personality traits. Pritchard is passive aggressively stating George is not those things. Consequently, there’s no need to answer the question with those specifics if that’s not his agenda. Hey, stranger things have happened, but it’s doubtful Indiana even gets an interview if they ask for it.

Conference Finals Set:

More from Thunderous Intentions

With the Boston Celtics win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night the Conference Finals on both coasts are set.

First of all, the Western showdown will feature the top two seeds (Rockets vs. Warriors) in the match most NBA fans coveted all season.

In the East, it’s a repeat of last seasons conference finals. Some of the luster is off this matchup given Kyrie Irving being unavailable to play his former team. Still, coaching savant Brad Stevens has his top ranked defense performing above expectations. Boston is injury riddled and giving new meaning to “next man up”.

Steven’s Celtics will attempt to stop the charging LeBron James and suddenly defensively strong squad. That’s shade in case it wasn’t clear – read: whistles are allergic to the King and company. Expect Tommy Heinsohn to be incensed at some point during this series.

Hence, it says here Warriors versus Cavaliers Part IV is inevitable.  In fact, that’s a desired result especially because it could offer benefits to the OKC Thunder if both series play out as expected. Check out specifically how that might work below.

Next: Warriors repeat offers OKC best shot at shedding Anthony

That’s it for In the news Thursday May 10th. Enjoy the day.