One of the biggest NBA trades of the last year is suddenly casting a shadow on the playoffs


paul george

When the Indiana Pacers traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder last June for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, many in the NBA world felt they made a poor deal.
Ten months later, both George and Oladipo are thriving for their respective teams, helping them secure Game 1 wins in the playoffs.
It’s rare that a trade can benefit both sides, but the deal seems to have made both teams better.

Two of the most significant performances of the opening weekend of the NBA playoffs came from two players who were traded for one another.

On Sunday, Victor Oladipo poured in 32 points to help the Indiana Pacers pull off a surprising upset of the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Paul George dropped 36 points on the Utah Jazz to help the Oklahoma City Thunder win their first game of the postseason.

Rewind to last June, when the Pacers traded George to the Thunder for Oladipo, and second-year big man Domantas Sabonis and nearly everyone in the NBA world questioned whether the Pacers had gotten enough for their superstar forward. Oladipo and Sabonis were both coming off of disappointing seasons with the Thunder, and the Pacers didn’t receive any draft compensation in the trade.

Some of that doubt seemed to have fueled Oladipo, who made his first All-Star appearance this year while averaging 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game for the 48-34 Pacers. After helping the Pacers beat the Cavs in Game 1 on Sunday, Oladipo acknowledged that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s thoughts on the trade had fueled him. Last July, Gilbert said the Pacers “could’ve done better” in the George trade.

“You could say it added fuel to the fire; I guess you could say,” Oladipo said after Game 1. “But that was so long ago. It came up recently, obviously, because we were playing the Cavs in the series, but I’m aware of what he said. Can’t control his opinion.”

Even honest observers couldn’t say they saw Oladipo’s breakout coming. Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard, who pulled the trigger on the trade, admitted that while the team liked the young talent of Oladipo and Sabonis, he didn’t think the team would be so good right away.

“In all honesty, no. We thought we had the chance to be pretty good, but when I sat down with Chad Buchanan and Peter Dinwiddie and also [team owner] Herb Simon, we talked about what we really wanted …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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