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NBA Trade Rumors: Pacer send Paul George to Thunder in shocking deal

This came out of nowhere.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers have reportedly traded Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a shocking turn of events, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Shelburne reports the Pacers will receive Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo in exchange for their All-Star.

The Lakers were reportedly content to sit out any trade pursuit of George and instead wait for him in free agency, and we'll now get to see whether or not that backfires.

George has been reportedly been open behind-the-scenes that any team trading for him would be getting a one-year rental before he departs for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers. It appears the Thunder were willing to take that gamble, potentially with the hopes of their aggressiveness to get him help convincing Russell Westbrook to sign an extension to stay in Oklahoma City.

There is a chance that if the pairing is as dynamic as it looks on paper that both George and Westbrook could stay in Oklahoma City, but this move might also ultimately be a good thing for the Lakers. There is little chance the Thunder, even with George, are good enough to truly be much more than a first or second-round out in the Western Confererence playoffs, something that is barely better than George's current situation in Indiana.

Sure, the Lakers with George wouldn't be any more competitive, but George has also been open about his desire to get to Los Angeles being about more than winning. Plus, it would likely be a whole lot easier for George to recruit extra talent to join him in Los Angeles than in Oklahoma City, which has traditionally struggled to acquire and/or keep players in free agency.

George will play this year for the Thunder, that much is certain barring an even more shocking turn of events. He will probably give the team a real chance and no doubt play his hardest for them. However, all reports so far appear to point towards George being out the door after a year. We'll see if that was posturing from his camp or reality next summer, but free agency is certainly off to a crazy start.

Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for more on this story as it develops. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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