Last summer, the Indiana Pacers dealt Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Sixth months later the trade, as expected, has shaken up the playoff picture thanks to the brilliant play of a high-scoring wing. It just so happens that the high-scoring wing is not who we all expected it to be.
NBA All-Star rosters were announced Tuesday, and Pacers fans surely got a laugh to see that Oladipo was an Eastern Conference reserve selection while George will be watching from home. It was just the latest evidence that Indiana got a much better haul in that trade than anyone thought at the time.
Oladipo is an all-star. Paul George is not pic.twitter.com/Qq4yaqW8KA
— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) January 24, 2018
Remember when everyone was making fun of Indiana for the Paul George trade? Victor Oladipo is an All-Star and Paul George isn't.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 23, 2018
Victor Oladipo is an All-Star.
Paul George isn't.
Yep. We all saw this coming.
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) January 23, 2018
Oladipo has been a revelation this season, posting career highs in points (24.2), rebounds (5.2), assists (3.9), blocks (0.9) and steals (1.9) per game, while shooting an impressive 48.4 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from 3-point range, both also career highs. He has the Pacers 25-22 and sixth in the East, in a season when they were expected to bottom out.
George, meanwhile, hasn’t had a bad year (and would probably be an All-Star if he still played in the East), but he hasn’t quite lived up to his usual standards either. He scoring is down from 23.7 points per game to 20.8, as are his assists, rebounds and field-goal percentage. Much of that is attributable to his role next to the ball-dominant Russell Westbrook, but Thunder fans still have reason to be underwhelmed.
No one needed All-Star rosters to know that Oladipo has been incredible this season while George has been just pretty good, but the voting results nicely confirm that. Given how widely the Pacers were bashed for making the swap in the first place, Indiana general manager Kevin Pritchard must be feeling quite gratified right about now. And as for Sam Presti and Thunder fans… they might want to skip the All-Star Game.