Paul George’s insights on player empowerment, exit from OKC raise eyebrows

Paul George comments on OKC Thunder (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Paul George comments on OKC Thunder (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Paul George, OKC Thunder trade (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images) /

Return date?

In this introductory presser, George’s return date is still in question. What if he can’t return until 10 or 15 games into the season? What if Kawhi needs to be put on “load management” again or (let’s hope NOT) suffers an injury? That could lead to the Clippers finishing further down the ladder in the stacked Western Conference and as a result facing a tougher first-round opponent.

I’m not saying PG didn’t give his all as an OKC Thunder, but aside from the month prior to the All-Star break this season I can’t say I saw him effect winning – particularly in the playoffs. Is he a top-end talent – undoubtedly. But, unlike Kawhi Leonard who didn’t have another top 10 star playing beside him – he wasn’t able to be “the difference” for his squad when it mattered most. And perhaps that in itself is why PG13 wanted to bolt for LA.

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All I’m saying is Paul – we aren’t dumb. To suggest you signed a deal under the caveat of you have one season to prove yourself or we agree to trade you to LA is inane.

Presti didn’t take the big swing, spend a year on nurturing and growing your relationship, bring in Melo (granted that failed big time) and again add other talents this past year with the view if we don’t win this year it’s fine if you leave. The fact Presti was out trying to add talent (Alec Burks, Mike Muscala) and re-sign vital parts (Nerlens Noel) speaks to the franchise having no clue that was his desire.

Still, it’s impressive Presti navigated his demand and leveraged so much in return is fortunate. But, don’t kid yourself every single team in the Association would take a proven top tier talent over the promise of a draft pick. So stop trying to sell us a bill of goods that can’t be cashed in.

dark. Next. 2019 NBA Free Agency – Live tracker, updated daily

For now, it appears both sides are being (to use a Presti offering) adversarial.