George has been the hottest name in the league since he informed the Pacers he did not intend to re-sign with the them following the 2017-18 season. The Thunder were not really being talked about as a possible landing spot for the star forward, which makes this move all the more surprising. The Thunder traded Serge Ibaka for Oladipo and a lottery-pick that ended up being Sabonis prior to free agency last season, as they did not intend to offer him the max. They have now flipped those two assets for presumably just one year of George, as he reportedly will favor his hometown Lakers heading into 2018 free agency. The rental risk makes sense, as Russell Westbrook is in his prime and coming off a career season where he was not provided much help on the team around him. George and Westbrook should mesh well on the court in theory, as George is not a ball-dominant player. It remains to be seen how the team will fill the roster around those two star players, but George should be primed for a big season in Oklahoma City.
With a full season still ahead of George before the summer of 2018, things could obviously change, but it sounds like he's ready for a change of scenery. The Lakers are already being crowned the front runner for George's services going into the 2018-19 season, as he's originally from Southern California and also appears to be looking for a larger market. George is coming off a career year with averages of 23.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals, so with plenty left in the tank, the Pacers may dangle George's name out in trade proposals in order to get some sort of value out of him before he leaves for nothing as an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
George registered 36 points (10-28 FG, 5-15 3Pt, 11-11 FT), 15 rebounds, nine assists and one steal across 45 minutes in a 119-114 loss to the Cavaliers on Thursday in Game 3 of the series.
George tore the leaky Cavs defense to shreds in the first half, amassing 23 points, nine boards and five assists to propel the Pacers to 25-point lead entering the break. Unfortunately, the All-Star forward couldn't keep it going in the second half, and with George failing to find his shot and LeBron James taking the game over, the Cavaliers were able to claim the biggest second-half comeback win in NBA postseason history. With the Pacers facing a 3-0 deficit in the series, George will likely do everything in his power to avoid a sweep in Sunday's Game 4, so expect him to take on another sky-high usage rate. He's averaged 32.3 points (on 43.3% shooting), 9.3 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 5.0 three-pointers and 1.0 steal in 42.7 minutes per game over the first three contests of the first round.
George scored 32 points (10-20 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 8-9 FT) with eight rebounds, seven assists and one steal across 42 minutes in a 117-111 Game 2 loss to the Cavs on Monday.
George continued his high level of play in the post-season by once again leading the Pacers in scoring. Even more impressive was that he also led the team in rebounds and assists. If Indiana wants to make this a long series they'll need more players besides George to step up. Whether that happens or not, DFS players should feel safe deploying George and reaping the rewards of his versatile game.
George scored 29 points (9-19 FG, 6-8 3Pt, 5-7 FT) while adding seven assists, five rebounds and a steal in 41 minutes during Saturday's 109-108 Game 1 loss to the Cavaliers.
His three-pointer with 40 seconds left brought the Pacers to within a point and he then locked down LeBron James at the other end on the Cavs' final possession, but Cleveland double-teamed George with the game on the line and made sure he couldn't complete the upset. Given the Cavs' defensive issues down the stretch in the regular season, however, Saturday's performance could well be the tip of the iceberg for George's playoff production in the first-round matchup.
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