The Oklahoma City Thunder have been deemed one of the winners of the offseason with their trades to obtain Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Here are some reasons why they won’t live up to the expectations set for them.
Carmelo Anthony was traded towards the end of the offseason in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and Chicago’s 2018 second round draft pick. In my eyes, the Thunder lost this trade. OKC traded Enes Kanter, a great sixth man that they used very often. They also traded Chicago’s 2018 draft pick, who has a very strong chance of being the worst team in the league. With this year being the last year before the draft lottery reform, OKC could have gotten a solid player.
Carmelo Anthony is also way to old and past his prime. Carmelo Anthony also only averaged 2.9 assists per game last season and he has never been over 4.2 assists per game in any one season. Him teaming up with Paul George who is too used to having the ball will hurt OKC more than help them.
Like Carmelo Anthony, Paul George cannot share the ball. Paul George’s assist per game last season was 3.3. Paul George has also only been in a position where he is the star on his team, and it will be hard for him to adjust to sharing the ball between Russell Westbrook, who can consistently score.
I also think that Paul George is overrated. Most of his hype came from starring as the 2K 17 cover athlete, where I don’t think he deserved it. In the last 3 years, the Pacers have made the playoffs twice and have been the 7th seed both times. This may not seem too bad, but they are in the eastern conference where it doesn’t take much to make it into the playoffs. Although it was just Paul George surrounded by “role players”, he should still be able to lead his team better such as James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
I think that another mistake that the Thunder made was trading Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter. Victor Oladipo was their starting shooting guard and was able to generate about 15 points per game last season and 2.6 assists. Enes Kanter also played a big role as their 6th man who in just 21 minutes could generate 12 points and 8 rebounds. This was big for OKC in helping Russell Westbrook fuel them to the playoffs. By losing these two players, I think OKC loses a lot of depth when they already had very little.
In general, I think that the Oklahoma City Thunder will not be able to achieve the hype that their offseason ventures set up for them. Unless the NBA makes a rule that allows players to wear hoodies during the game, I see Paul George heading off to the Lakers next season.