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SportReports: Paul George's falling out with Russell Westbrook paved way for Clippers' big move

16:00  06 july  2019
16:00  06 july  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

Report: Thunder GM played Clippers, Raptors against each other

Report: Thunder GM played Clippers, Raptors against each other The Oklahoma City Thunder received an unprecedented haul from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Paul George trade, and that is because general manager Sam Presti played an unfortunate situation to perfection. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Presti managed to play the Clippers and Toronto Raptors against each other once George asked to be traded, which was earlier in the week. The Clippers and Raptors knew acquiring George would likely be the move that would allow them to sign Leonard, and Presti used that to his advantage.

Paul George reportedly demanded to be traded earlier this week, something that apparently caught the Thunder off guard. Rival NBA teams have been aware of the discontent of OKC' s two stars: Paul George -- and Russell Westbrook , league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Paul George reportedly demanded to be traded earlier this week, something that apparently caught the Thunder off guard. Rival NBA teams have been aware of the discontent of OKC' s two stars: Paul George -- and Russell Westbrook , league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Video by CBS Sports

While the Los Angeles Clippers were grabbing headlines late Friday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder were busy changing their entire future.

The Thunder traded star Paul George to the Clippers for several future first-round draft picks, two pick swaps, All-Rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. He’ll join Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, who announced his intent to sign with the organization on Friday night.

Report: Rival execs see Rockets as ‘likely suitor’ for Russell Westbrook

Report: Rival execs see Rockets as ‘likely suitor’ for Russell Westbrook The Oklahoma City Thunder have no choice but to explore the possibility of trading Russell Westbrook now that Paul George has forced his way out of town, and any deal involving the All-Star point guard could once again shift the balance of power in the Western Conference. 

It is also reported he will be joined at the Clippers by fellow All-Star Paul George , 29, who will be traded from the Oklahoma Thunder after Leonard reportedly approached There are also claims that a falling out between George and fellow Thunder star Russell Westbrook paved the way for the move .

IT Took a while, but paul george finally decided just what kevin durant DID: that you can't win with russell westbrook playing the way So we’re just gonna gloss over the fact that after just 2 seasons, Paul George wanted out from under Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City will now have unprotected first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and two first-round picks from the Miami Heat in 2021 and 2023, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, and the right to swap picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.

The move, according to multiple reports, actually stemmed from George’s falling out with fellow Thunder star Russell Westbrook.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, teams across the league were aware of the “discontent” of George and Westbrook in Oklahoma City this summer.

George then approached the Thunder earlier this week to demand a trade, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Meanwhile, Leonard was pushing both the Clippers to land him another star to play with in Los Angeles and George to make a move.

So Oklahoma City, feeling like it only had one option, then reached a deal to send George to Los Angeles.

George had just signed a four-year deal with the Thunder last summer, too, and averaged a career-high 28 points and 8.2 rebounds this year. His trade request, according to Brett Dawson of The Athletic, caught the team by surprise.

So, suddenly, it appears that the Thunder will shift into rebuilding mode — something they could actually be in a solid position to do. With all the draft picks they brought in on Friday night, Oklahoma City will have plenty of ways to add new talent to its roster in the future. Based on those reports, however, it doesn’t sound like the team was prepared to hit the reset button — which will make its next moves extremely interesting.

Perhaps the biggest question left surrounding the team now, though, is Westbrook and his future with the Thunder.

Westbrook, who will turn 31 in November, signed a five-year deal last summer to remain with the team. It made sense at the time, because Westbrook has spent his entire 11-year career with the organization and helped turn it into legitimate title contenders multiple times.

NBA: Thunder's Russell Westbrook traded to Rockets for Chris Paul

NBA: Thunder's Russell Westbrook traded to Rockets for Chris Paul Russell Westbrook has been traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets in a deal for Chris Paul and draft picks, according to ESPN.

Now, though, he’s essentially the lone piece left in Oklahoma City.

Yet the former league MVP, given where he’s at in his career, may not want to have to battle through another rebuild. Given how quickly George apparently left the Thunder, though, Westbrook could easily be on the trading block next.

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