Re­ports: Ge­orge to OKC

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

The In­di­ana Pac­ers are send­ing four-time All-Star for­ward Paul Ge­orge to the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports Fri­day night.

Vic­tor Oladipo and Do­man­tas Sabo­nis are headed to In­di­ana in the deal, ac­cord­ing to the re­ports.

ESPN first re­ported the news Fri­day and USA To­day con­firmed.

Ge­orge’s fu­ture at In­di­ana has been un­cer­tain for some time. He re­port­edly in­formed the team ear­lier this year that he planned to leave next sum­mer as an un­re­stricted free agent and sign with the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers.

Now the Thun­der have two of the NBA’s top 15 play­ers in Ge­orge and reign­ing

MVP Russell West­brook, both of whom will be free agents next sum­mer.

Last sea­son, Ge­orge av­er­aged a ca­reer-high

23.7 points on 46 per­cent shoot­ing. He av­er­aged 6.6 re­bounds and 3.3 as­sists per game.

Mean­while, In­di­ana gets a young big man in Sabo­nis to pair with emerg­ing cen­ter Myles Turner, and the Pac­ers also re­ceive a young shoot­ing guard from In­di­ana Univer­sity in Oladipo as a fix­ture in their back­court for the next four sea­sons.

In other NBA news as free agency be­gins, Blake Grif­fin has can­celed his meet­ings with the Phoenix Suns and Den­ver Nuggets and will re­port­edly re­turn to the L.A. Clip­pers on a five-year max deal.

The Utah Jazz re­ceived Ricky Ru­bio from the Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves for the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der’s 2018 pro­tected firstround pick, ab­sorb­ing him into their re­main­ing cap space for the 2016-2017 sea­son be­fore it ex­pired at mid­night. Sec­ond, they are about to be hit with a big of­fer for re­stricted free agent for­ward Joe In­gles.

In­gles, 29, seems set to re­ceive an of­fer in the four-year, $60 mil­lion range from the Or­lando Magic, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple sources. In­gles was an un­der­rated part of Utah’s suc­cess, av­er­ag­ing 7.1 points in 24 min­utes per game while shoot­ing 44.1 per­cent from three-point range. He’s also close with Gor­don Hayward, Utah’s star free agent who seems like a pretty strong pos­si­bil­ity to leave at this point.

The Bos­ton Celtics and Mi­ami Heat are ex­pected to get meet­ings with Hayward

in the next 48 hours be­fore he meets with the Jazz and makes his de­ci­sion, un­less more teams get into the mix.

Ru­bio be­ing traded, mean­while, clears the way for Jeff Teague to likely sign with the Tim­ber­wolves when free agency be­gan at 11:01 p.m. Cen­tral.

The Wolves had been look­ing to move away from Ru­bio for some time, and they’ve been ru­mored for just as long to have in­ter­est in Teague, who spent last sea­son with the In­di­ana Pac­ers after be­ing ac­quired from the At­lanta Hawks in a trade last sum­mer. There’s also the pos­si­bil­ity that Min­nesota could get into the Kyle Lowry sweep­stakes, but it seems as if Min­nesota would rather turn its sig­nif­i­cant cap space into a pair of im­pact play­ers in­stead of one large pay­ment to a front-line player.

ESPN re­ports that War­riors for­ward An­dre Iguo­dala is plan­ning a meet­ing with the San An­to­nio Spurs.

Ear­lier Fri­day, ESPN’s Zach Lowe tweeted that Golden State and the for­mer Fi­nals MVP had no plans to meet con­cern­ing his free agency.

The Chicago Bulls al­ways were ex­pected to waive Ra­jon Rondo be­fore the start of free agency, and they did so Fri­day af­ter­noon after fail­ing to find a taker for him in a trade.

This clears an­other $11 mil­lion in cap space off the Bulls’ books, which they will be able to use as a dump­ing ground for other teams try­ing to un­load bad salary from around the NBA.

Rondo be­comes the lat­est ad­di­tion to what is go­ing to be a crowded and com­pli­cated point guard mar­ket this sum­mer.

Lowry, Jrue Hol­i­day, Teague, Der­rick Rose, Ge­orge Hill, Dar­ren Col­li­son and Rondo are just some of the point guards avail­able, and there aren’t many teams that are in need of their ser­vices.

The Brook­lyn Nets are ex­pected to chase shoot­ing guard J.J. Redick, sources say.



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