The Oklahoma City Thunder made one of the biggest moves of the NBA offseason when they traded for Paul George this offseason.
It was also one of the riskiest when looking at the long-term ramifications.
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The cost wasn't prohibitive, but OKC did give up a couple nice pieces in guard Victor Oladipo (15.9 ppg in 2016-17) and forward Domantas Sabonis (5.9 ppg) -- both former first-round picks with upside.
In return, they got a rising star in George. He's averaged right at 23.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg over the past two seasons in Indiana. There's no issue with the straight-up value of the deal for 2017-18.
But what comes next? George will be one of the most sought-after free agents in the loaded 2018 class, and with the NBA landscape set to shift dramatically due to the caliber of players on the market, it's impossible to say if OKC's newest star will be a franchise fixture or a short-term rental.
Ladbrokes revealed odds this week for where George will be for the first game of the season in 2018, and it's a wide-open field:
Here's a breakdown of the top five options:
Los Angeles Lakers
There's no huge secret surrounding L.A.'s plans. The Lakers made moves this offseason to clear the financial deck for a run at some of the biggest targets in 2018. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and George -- or any combination of those three -- are all among the big names they'll target to add to a young, and cheap, nucleus that features Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
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Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC not only acquired George, but they also got his Bird rights -- giving them leverage in negotiations. If able to compete in the West with George and Westbrook working together this year, perhaps that duo decides to stick together with new deals.
James Harden, Chris Paul and George? Maybe...but there are a lot of moving pieces. Paul can also enter free agency next season, and the Rockets have also been heavily linked to Carmelo Anthony rumors this offseason.
If George is looking for a contender, the Celtics will be in the discussion. Cap space could be an issue, but Boston would make it work. With all the picks and young players they have, a sign-and-trade agreement would be on the table.
If the Cavs fall short again this year, but James decides to stay, expect a huge shakeup with the supporting cast. The Cavs weren't able to land George via trade this offseason, but they'd try to find a way to sign him in 2018.