Revisiting OKC Thunder offseason and grading every move to date

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2, Danilo Gallinari #8, OKC Thunder (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2, Danilo Gallinari #8, OKC Thunder (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
4 of 9
OKC Thunder
Paul George #13 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The trade demand:

The most shocking news of the summer (in my opinion) was the Paul George deal to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Since Paul George re-signed last offseason, there were zero reports about any discontent involving him and the organization. There were no trade rumors throughout his tenure on the Thunder and everything was kept under wraps until Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers.

Luckily for the Thunder, the Clippers were forced to make a move for George as Kawhi Leonard reportedly wanted to play with him, giving GM Sam Presti the upper hand in negotiations.

As a result of that, OKC was able to acquire young guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, four unprotected first-round picks, one protected pick, and two pick swaps.

Related Story. Paul George’s insights on player empowerment, exit from OKC raise eyebrows. light

That is an absolute haul for George, who despite coming off a great closing game versus the Blazers, has two injured shoulders and is only under contract for two more seasons (third is a player option). Even if George never requested a trade, I would have still done this deal if I was the GM.

The assets OKC gained in this deal could potentially alter and boost the Thunder to its first-ever championship in the future.

Also, let’s be honest, the Thunder already hit their peak. Lacking trade assets outside of George and being capped out, there was no realistic way of improving the roster while keeping the main core together. As a result of this deal, the floodgates opened and everyone in the NBA knew the Thunder were willing to sell.

Overall, while it hurts losing a player of George’s caliber, and while neither of the players and/or picks will ever be as good as George, if you can get three to four good NBA players as a result, you would take that every time.

Grade: A