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Thunder trades for George

The Pacers trade Paul George, left, to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
The Pacers trade Paul George, left, to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Published Jul. 1, 2017

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

The Pacers agreed to trade George to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, according to multiple reports Friday. The deal gives Westbrook, the newly crowned league MVP, some serious help next season.

Teams came together on the trade Friday just hours before the free agent market was set to open. Free agency officially began at 12:01 a.m. today.

George, 27, a four-time All-Star, told the Pacers recently that he planned to leave as a free agent next summer, forcing the club to find a trade before losing the 6-foot-9 forward for nothing.

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 during the 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 if he is set on joining the 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 season to join the already-loaded West the past few days. Jimmy Butler was traded by the Bulls to the Timberwolves on draft night.

"Playoffs spots are opening up," center Joel Embiid of the Eastern Conference's 76ers chimed in on Twitter.

Indiana is Oladipo's third team, after starting his career with the Magic and spending last season in Oklahoma City. He has averaged 15.9 points per game in his four seasons on 43 percent shooting.

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

Griffin returns to Clips: Blake Griffin has agreed to a five-year deal worth approximately $175 million to remain with the Clippers, the Associated Press reported. Griffin and the Clippers agreed to the deal late Friday, and it reportedly will be signed when the league's moratorium on offseason moves ends July 6. Griffin opted out last week from the final year of his contract, one that would have paid him $21.4 million. He has spent his entire career with the Clippers, averaging 21.5 points and 9.4 rebounds.

Rubio dealt to Jazz: The Timberwolves reached an agreement with the Jazz to send point guard Ricky Rubio to Utah. The Jazz sent a protected future first-round pick from the Thunder to the Timberwolves in exchange for Rubio, 26, the Spaniard who has struggled with injuries over his six years in Minnesota.

Rondo cut: The Bulls waived veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. Chicago bought out Rondo, 31, for $3 million rather than exercise a $13.4 million option for next season.