When the Indiana Pacers learned of Paul George’s intentions to bolt for the Los Angeles Lakers in the looming 2018 free agency period, it behooved them to move the disgruntled star rather than losing him for nothing. The Pacers did just that, sending George to the OKC Thunder in exchange for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
While both of them are more than capable NBA players, the trade was scoffed at due to the star power PG brings to the table. Though it’s only been one game, the Pacers’ newest additions are already garnering plenty of praise as Oladipo posted a 22-5-4 stat line while Sabonis chipped in 16 points and 7 boards off the bench.
While it may be a premature overreaction, veteran forward Thaddeus Young had some high praise, especially for the 21-year-old Sabonis in a post-game interview with IndyStar’s Jim Ayello:
“Honestly, I think we stole him from them.”
Obviously, the them Young is referring to is the Thunder but whether they ‘stole’ Domantas Sabonis remains very much to be seen. After all, they did trade a borderline top-10 player in the league so to call the Sabonis acquisition a steal may be a little much.
Either way, the Pacers and their fans have to be ecstatic with what they saw from both Sabonis and Oladipo on opening night. Sabonis and Oladipo both served as starters last season for OKC so the two know how to put up quality numbers, the only question mark is their consistency.
If Sabonis can continue to develop, hopefully the Pacers have found their long-term frontcourt complement to franchise backbone Myles Turner. Expect Sabonis and the Pacers to build on their impressive 140-131 victory over the Brooklyn Nets as they could be vying for a playoff spot come season’s end.
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