Report: Pacers trade Paul George to Thunder

Report: Pacers trade Paul George to Thunder

Paul George has a new home, and Russell Westbrook has a new star teammate.

The Indiana Pacers have agreed to trade George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, said two people with knowledge of the details. The stunning deal gives Westbrook, the newly crowned NBA MVP, some serious help next season.

Teams came together on the trade Friday just hours before the free agent market was set to open, said the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was not official.


George told the Pacers recently that he planned to leave as a free agent next summer, forcing the team to find a trade before losing him for nothing.

The trade was first reported by ESPN.

George could have been in line for the so-called "Supermax" extension - a five-year pact worth about $205 million - with Indiana this summer, had he been voted onto the All-NBA team this offseason.

He wasn't, though if he is an All-NBA player next season - which is certainly possible with the numbers he could post playing alongside Westbrook - George would be eligible for a huge payday again. And the irony there is that if he is set on joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, as has been reported for some time, George would miss out on that massive extra windfall.

George is the second Eastern Conference All-Star from this past season to join the already-loaded Western Conference in the last few days. Jimmy Butler was traded by Chicago to Minnesota on draft night.

"Playoffs spots are opening up," Philadelphia's Joel Embiid noted on his Twitter account Friday night.

In the East, that certainly seems to be the case.

George broke his left leg in a gruesome scene while playing with USA Basketball in Las Vegas in 2014, which prompted fears he would never be the same. Those fears were most unfounded, since George has better than ever in the last two seasons - averaging 23.1 points and 7.0 rebounds in 2015-16, and following that up with averages of 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds this past season.

He's been to the playoffs six times, getting to the East finals twice and losing to Miami each time.

Indiana will be Oladipo's third team, after starting his career in Orlando and spending last season in Oklahoma City. He's averaged 15.9 points per game in his four pro seasons, on 43 percent shooting.

Sabonis started 66 games as a rookie last season with the Thunder, averaging 5.9 points.

Jaylen Brown after concussion: 'My mom definitely said no more dunking'

Jaylen Brown after concussion: 'My mom definitely said no more dunking'

In his first meeting with the media since suffering an ugly concussion, Jaylen Brown was willing to make jokes about the moment which terrified Boston Celtics players and fans.

"Yeah, my mom definitely said no more dunking," Brown said Thursday at Celtics shootaround. "That's what she told me."

But it wasn't all jokes from Brown, who said he was eyeing a return for Sunday's game against the Kings. The Boston Celtics forward was frank about the severity of the moment.


"I think it's just a blessing that I didn't need a stretcher or anything to have to walk off the floor with," Brown said. "It's just a scary situation to be in. You never want to be in that situation where people are saying, 'Pray for you.'"

During the Celtics' win over the Timberwolves on March 9, Brown went for a dunk in transition, but slipped off the rim and fell backward onto his head in an awkward position. He convulsed on the court for a moment before the Celtics training staff rushed to treat him. After a few minutes, he rose and walked off the court.

"When I fell, I was completely knocked out," he said. "I remember them saying, 'Yeah, we're going to need a stretcher,' and something came over me and I just got right up. ... I remember waking up and there was a bunch of people standing around me and I was like, 'What the hell is going on?' And I had no idea I had been out for 30 seconds or whatever they said I was out for. I just remember waking up, and there were a bunch of people around me and I tried to get up and they were like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.' And I was like, 'What's the big deal.' And that's all I remember to be honest."


Brown has missed five games, but could end that streak at six if he can return Sunday in Sacramento. Brown is averaging 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.9 minutes per game this season.


    Gordon Hayward gives update on ankle rehab

    File Photo

    Gordon Hayward gives update on ankle rehab

    Gordon Hayward is trying to translate his rehab off the court onto the hardwood. The Boston Celtics forward detailed the latest steps he's taking in his rehab from his ankle injury.

    “Rehab is going well, still progressing on the AlterG (anti-gravity treadmill), trying to get where I can run on a regular treadmill, so 100-percent bodyweight,” Hayward said in a video posted to the Celtics' Twitter account. “Next step after that will be jumping and then hopefully I can incorporate some of that — the running and jumping on the treadmill — to running and jumping on the basketball court, so that’s where I’m at.”

    Hayward suffered his ankle injury in the first five minutes of the season opener. He has not ruled out returning during the 2018 playoffs, though Brad Stevens continues to insist that Hayward will not play again this season.

    “The hope is still there,” Hayward told ESPN on March 9. “It’s something where I’m really honestly not even thinking about it. I know we’re getting toward the end of the year. It’s something that I’m still working toward, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”